Do newspapers have a responsibility to check wire-service stories?

I subscribe to the Arizona Daily Star which often provides blog fodder because of the questionable wire-service stories they use to fill their ever thinning newspaper, see examples below.

So I ask, does the paper have a responsibility to its readers to print accurate stories, stories that reflect the truth rather than hype?

A while back I posed that question to the Star. I also asked that if I could find “the rest of the story” in just a few minutes on the internet, why couldn’t they?

The spokesperson replied that they assume the wire-service stories had been checked, and besides, the Star does not have the staff to check the stories. And, the Star apparently cannot legally use stories not gathered from contracted wire-service providers.

That response is probably an accurate reflection of the situation, but it doesn’t answer the question of the paper’s responsibility to its readers. The choice of stories printed or not printed may also reflect on the paper’s bias or agenda.

What do you think? Is it any news that’s fit to print; any news that fits their agenda; or simply any news that they think will sell papers?

Perhaps Mark Twain was right when he said: “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.”

Some of my posts showing examples of questionable stories in Arizona Daily Star: (links updated):

Be skeptical of health studies linking X to Y

Flatulent Fauna Fables and climate

Greenland “melting” and media hype

Hurricanes and Oil Slicks

Shale oil and environmental concerns

Invasion of blister rust, pine beetles, global warming, and forest extinction

IPCC says they don’t know if the climate is becoming more extreme

Mild Winter Makes March Madness

Media pawns in IPCC extreme weather hype

Mississippi flooding and climate change

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