Thursday, 8 October 2015

Prince Harry's Love Life: Fact vs. Fiction?

How to tell if a story about Harry's love life (Or any royal story) is made up?

There are a number of credible news sites that regularly cover royal events. They have reporters who attend official engagements, get to talk to the Royals, and are in frequent communication with the Royal's press offices.

Ever notice how when there is something important going on that all of these sites report on it?
If everybody, not just gossip rags, is reporting on a story, there is a very good chance that it is true. 
If you see that only a few sites, mostly gossip rags, are reporting on a story, you have to ask yourself why is that? The Royals are popular, especially Harry. So, if there are facts about Harry dating someone, all the credible news sites are going to report on it, just like they do with his official engagements.

But at the same time, Prince Harry is popular and the media knows people will click on stories about his love life. This means you might see made up article,s or ones that stretch the truth. There are times where revenue is more important than the truth, or respectfully reporting.

Facts vs. Fiction
Always ask yourself, Who wrote the article? and Are they credible
  • Does the site do primary or secondary reporting? 
  • Where are they getting their information? 
  • What do they usually report on? 
  • Does it make sense that they would know what they are reporting to know? 
  • Does the story contradict other stories from credible sources? 
  • Do the site's other stories seem true? 
  • Look at past Royal stories by the same site: Are those true? Primary sources?
  • Does it state who (which reporter) wrote the article?
When an article uses worlds like reported, allegedly, according to, etc. those words mean this is speculated, or the source is unreliable/questionable. 

If it was a fact, the article would present it as fact.

The Foreign media, for the most part, would not find out before the British media

Foreign media often does not have reporters on the ground in London covering events. They mostly do secondary reporting, meaning they get their facts from other articles. They can often misinterpret things since they don't have expert knowledge, or the connections, that British Royal Reporters have. (Or if you are a gossip rag, you just make it up.) 

Harry's friends would not be spilling the beans to the media. 
Any news source that quotes an "unnamed friend" is likely made up. The Royals highly value their privacy, their friends know and respect that, that is how they are still the Royal's friend. 
  • People who sell stories to the media are trying to sell a story to the media. The story has to be interesting, entertaining and something people want to read, but not necessarily true. 
  • The best lies are based on a little bit of truth. So, just because Harry was at some party, doesn't mean everything reported in the story about that party is true. 
  • "Harry goes out to the pub with a group of friends," is not as interesting as "Harry goes out to the pub with new girlfriend."
Be careful with articles that cite another article as their source.

While the article your reading may be true, they don't have first-hand knowledge of the facts. Always get as close to the source as you can. The article may be selectively quoting or interpreting the facts to fit their story. (If there was a press release from the Palace, try finding that press release.)

When referring to the past, look at articles close to the event. 

We think we remember the events clearly, but often we don't realize our memory is a little hazy. The best source is always someone reporting on the event while it's fresh in their mind. Reporting on a past event is like quoting another article, your memory: you might only remember parts, or mix things up.

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