Printing unverified asserts , no matter how newsworthy they may appear to be, damages proper journalism. And thats a very dangerous thing to do

Why did BuzzFeed publish an unverified dossier on Donald Trumps ties with Moscow? It wasnt for clickbait or fiscal gain, according to the editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, but because it reflected how we ensure the job of reporters in 2017, which is possibly the most worrying reason of all.

After admitting that he wasnt altogether sure whether the dossier was dodgy or not in his note to personnel , Smith predictably earned the ire of Trump, who called BuzzFeed a disgrace and the website a failing heap of garbage. The next US president then resorted to the modern version of the playground chant of liar, liar, gasps of fire when he said of research reports: Its all fake news.

The widespread media disapproval of BuzzFeeds actions was less predictable. CNN, the network which first reported that security forces had given Trump and President Obama a summing-up of the dossier, distanced itself from BuzzFeeds decision to publish unsubstantiated memoes in the form of the unexpurgated 35 -page document, arguing that it had allowed Trump to tar all reporting on the issue as fake. CNN reporter Jake Tapper called the site irresponsible.

Read more: www.theguardian.com