Saturday, December 15, 2012

Get It Right -- Even If You Don't Get It Fast

This is a lesson we're supposed to learn every time there is a terrible tragedy. We are always told that we should slow down, wait to have all the information before making ill-formed opinions and statements. I've discussed this before here and here. So, we're back to this pressing question: How can we encourage the media to actually do their job and get breaking stories right before accidentally sending out loads of incorrect information? In what other field, besides blogging, politics and journalism, do we allow this level of incompetence to go unchecked?

So, when you decide to report on a mass shooting, it behooves you to get the right suspect, describe the attack correctly, identify your victims correctly and behave like decent human beings while doing so. Not getting things right also causes people to wonder why journalists might accidentally embarrass themselves in other ways. Journalists: These sorts of stories are easy lay-ups if you would be patient and not be suckers.

Verify your work. It's not that hard, and if you were in any other field and routinely turned in such shoddy, poorly checked work, you would be fired. Sometimes, it is OK to be a little slow if you can get it right without having to embarrassingly backtrack and say "Never mind." Ignore the Second Amendment issues for all purposes on commenting and focus on how we can convince the media that accuracy is more important than showmanship.

1 comment:

  1. -- In which my point is made even more clear.


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