As one who learned news writing years ago when facts and truth were important journalistic requirements, I found the following item (intended as a joke, but actually realistic) to be an excellent typical example of mainstream news reporting today.
Item forwarded by Russ Vaughn
Two boys in Boston were playing baseball when a rabid Rottweiler dog attacked one of them. Thinking quickly, the other boy ripped a board off a nearby fence, wedged it into the dog's collar and twisted it, breaking the dog's neck.
A Boston newspaper reporter who witnessed the incident rushed over to interview the boy. The reporter began entering data into his laptop, beginning with the headline:
Brave Young Red Sox Fan Saves Friend From Jaws Of Vicious Animal
“But I'm not a Red Sox fan,” the little hero interjected.
“Sorry,” replied the reporter, “but since this is Boston, I just assumed you were.”
Hitting the delete key, the reporter began:
John Kerry Fan Rescues Friend From Horrific Dog Attack
“But I'm not a Kerry fan either,” the boy responds.
The reporter says, “I assumed everybody in this state was either for the Red Sox or Kerry or Kennedy. What team or person do you like? “
“I'm a Texas Ranger fan and I really like George W. Bush” the boy says.
Hitting the delete key, the reporter begins again:
Arrogant Little Conservative Jerk Kills Beloved Family Pet