A popular public radio series, This American Life (TAL), has retracted a  January program because allegations couldn’t be verified. TAL, which built a huge following for its long-form narratives about real people, devoted the March 18 program to the earlier story by playwright Mike Daisey.  Host Ira Glass questioned Daisey about the sources for his report about worker health and safety at Chinese factories that produce components for Apple.  New York Times media columnist David Carr devoted his March 19 column to the flap. He observes:

… we are in a pro-am informational world where news comes from all directions. Traditional media still originate big stories, but many others come from all corners – books, cellphone videos, blogs and yes, radio shows built on storytelling.

Do different standards for accuracy and fairness apply to these new forms of media? Or should listeners expect a program such as TAL to be more than info-tainment?

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