As a journalist I depend on others to fill in facts and figures; fiction is so much easier, it just has to SOUND right! (just kidding)
That's why I will often send queries to actual, formal Press Offices, because I want to know that what I am writing is accurate. I don't know why but especially in the more recent years I find that Press Offices don't always bother to return a response. I would even appreciate a "Sorry, we can't release that information…" or "We don't have the answers you are looking for…". It's frustrating to wait on an article simply because the experts you went to have decided to remain quiet.
Yeah, I am complaining. With all of the misinformation that gets spread around lately, I really would like to know that what I am typing at least borders on the truth. I never quote a particular source unless I receive permission to do so — so there shouldn't be a reason to be afraid to answer. I just want to be sure that if I am, let's say, giving a step-by-step of auto repair, that I am actually getting it right. (I would hate to refer to "the thig-a-ma-jig" just to find out that the car doesn't even have one!)
We all, myself included, have complained about journalists who can't seem to get their facts straight. Well maybe this is part of the problem, the folks we turn to for information are not at all forthcoming. Now I won't tell exactly which sources haven't bothered to respond, but I will say that at least some of them actually have the words "PRESS OFFICE" in their titles. It would seem to me that if a reporter needs information, a Press Office should be a good place to start.
Okay, enough complaining… I have to start writing an article on very little confirmed information. I will do my best to research other sources and will strategically use terms such as "it appears to be" or "a few sources intimated that it was". I will do my best to inform as honestly as possible.