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Elements of Journalism

            The second chapter of The Elements of Journalism is entitled "Truth: The First and Most Confusing Principle". The majority of this chapter discusses the need for more than just factual information, and expresses "journalistic truth" as both the accurate facts and interpretations of the news. .
             It conveys that just factual information is not sufficient. "A journalism built merely on accuracy fails to get us far enough" Which is true, and a perfect example of this idea: At my high school, amazingly the average SAT score rose dramatically within a year or so. That is a provable fact. Though it is completely true, it's not the whole story. .
             The story is that the administrators at the school well advertised the fact that it that if you were going to a community college or didn't plan on attending a college or university "YOU DID NOT HAVE TO TAKE THE SAT!!!" They knew that the people with such plans already in mind were not as "academically minded" as those planning on getting into a college. "Why waste four hours when you didn't have to" is what was broadcasted over the intercom system every afternoon. Also, students who have already taken and did very well on it, were asked, and even had their test paid for, to take it again. So instead of raising the average by helping kids score higher (which one would naturally think if they read that "Pinecrest SAT scores raise") they raised the average by persuading students who typically bring in a lower score to not take the test, and persuading those who they know will do very good (and already have and have no real need to take it again) to further raise the "average" score. The school then boasts on how great it is, and then the "truth" comes out. Needless to say we got a few different administrators the following year.
             "Truth" is a very difficult idea to define, and even harder to express in a journalistic fashion. The given example shows that there are two different truths, the truths, that Pinecrest High School raised SAT scores dramatically, and that students didn't score any higher than they have ever before.

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