The Washington Post recently caught the group Project Veritas trying to pull off a scam on its reporters. Project Veritas claims to be exposing the world for what it is, but the Shop Talk panelists don't see it that way.
Will Buss called Veritas an insidious effort to derail journalism while promoting a fake news agenda that’s been perpetuated by the Trump administration. He said the group’s efforts are diabolical and disgusting, and he’s stunned that a group has formed for no other purpose than to deceive.
Buss lauded the Post for catching Project Veritas and ensuring truth prevailed.
Jasmine Crighton said Veritas will edit videos deceptively to make journalists look bad, but that tactic failed this time because the Post also video recorded the encounters to show how they actually played out.
Crighton said Veritas is another example of how journalists are under attack, and she said audiences need to keep in mind there are differences between someone who’s a journalist and someone who’s a commentator or a paid spin doctor. She’s concerned audiences sometimes lump all together as “the media.”
Rich Egger said it might be a good exercise to occasionally test journalists to ensure they’re double checking information and sources before running with a story. But he said Project Veritas isn’t trying to help journalists improve. Instead it’s trying to hurt journalism.
Egger said journalists sometimes make honest mistakes and try to correct them when that happens. He said that’s not the case with Veritas, which is all about skewing the truth.
Jasmine Crighton is News Director of NEWS3 at Western Illinois University and Will Buss is the Director of Student Publications at WIU.