Help Journalists Be Honest

Victor Davis Hanson explains the difference between a historian and a journalist:

…the verifiability of source material is what distinguishes history from hearsay — and what distinguishes the genre from journalism…

Journalists could change this with one little word: footnotes. A good argument can be made that footnotes in the paper version of publications would be distracting and costly, but the major impediment to including them in online editions would probably simply be resistance by the writers themselves. Footnotes are a hassle for writers — but they do have a way if helping to keep writers honest.Who’s with me on this?

Addendum, 10/29: Mark Tapscott has posted a thoughtful response to this idea. I’ll respond to his comments in a little while.

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