ICE blogs

November 3, 2017

Sky Sports News executive editor says ‘Sky sources’ ticker can refer to information from one source

By Louise Byrne

Source: Press Gazette

The executive editor of Sky Sports News, Andy Cairns, said the phrase “Sky sources” used in the breaking news ticker sometimes refers to information from just one source rather than at least two sources which might have been best practice in the past.

Speaking on Friday at a conference on ethics and sports journalism, Cairns said the growing phenomenon of “unnamed sources” was not ideal, but was in part the result of the heightened competition to be the first with the news.

“We’ve had to respond. I think for a while, most news organisations followed the two sources rule for any story. With the pace of news and increased competition, that’s not workable now for every story.”

Cairns conceded that it happened “too often probably”, but said there was still careful evaluation of a source based on asking the right questions and an extensive contact base.

He also said there was now a disturbing middle ground occupied by news and gossip websites, or Twitter accounts with large followings, where different rules applied.

Sky Sports News had set up a special team to break original news and verify quickly stories on social media.

“The challenge comes when a rumour gathers momentum on social media. We can’t ignore it so we are honest with our viewers… that we are checking to verify and that we will update as soon as we can.

Cairns – who was speaking at the Institute of Communication Ethics (ICE) Annual Conference entitled: Sports Journalism: ethical vacuum or ethical minefield? – added that the increasingly tight control exercised by press officers and clubs, who were often running their own media channels, was also part of the problem.

You can continue to read the full article via this link: http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/sky-sports-news-executive-editor-says-sky-sources-ticker-can-refer-to-information-from-one-source/

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