What has the race to be first in an always online world cost us? Who do we trust? And when?
Does the public need to know? Really?
Worse, this wholly incorrect report of an arrest connected to the bombing of the Boston Marathon was republished far and wide without anyone checking the facts. And by “anyone”, I’m not referring to independent bloggers and the like. We’re talking career reporters and journalists at Reuters, the source from which most the news flows.
Guess how many names are credited for the article “Boston bombing suspect arrested” on NBC News, reprinted from Reuters? Five. Three writers and two editors. Five professional journalists covering the biggest news story in the United States today who couldn’t be bothered to make a phone call.
It isn’t news at this point. It’s gossip.
CNN is taking the backlash for making this mistake, but the real problem lies with every other major news network that carried this story only using CNN as a source. High school research projects require more sources than networks demand of our “news”. They don’t care. They’re just going to throw CNN under the bus and hope you don’t think about it. AND they may just run an additional story about how CNN screwed up.
Is this worth it? Does the public need to know right now?