Make it accurate
To the Editor: I’m tired of inaccurate or missing information in the Union Leader . I think it is part of the job of a reporter to get the facts and use correct terms.
Jason Schreiber reported on May 21 that a bullet was found at Timberlane Regional High School. Was it a bullet, or was it a cartridge?
A cartridge is an unfired round, with a bullet in a case and gunpowder inside. The bullet is just the part at the end, but that is what comes out of a gun when a cartridge is fired.
If you find a bullet it means someone fired a gun. If you find a cartridge, it means maybe someone carried a gun. The difference is important.
Yes, this term has to do with firearms, and a reporter may not have experience with them. That is not a reason to be inaccurate. Many topics require correct terms. A tax return shows your income and deductions, while a tax form just has empty fields. A football player does not commit a penalty, he commits a foul. The team gets the penalty.
When a reporter does an article, all the relevant facts should be included. Even for unfamiliar topics. What specific chemical was in the water? What type of radiation was detected? What caliber cartridge was found? Readers get more information, and may learn something.
Reporters may need to get clarification, make calls, ask questions. It’s more work, but that is why we buy the newspaper.