Wednesday, January 04, 2006
The Day Journalism Died
I blame it on the 24 hour news cycle and the ridiculous need by cable news networks to be the absolute first to break a story. Their desire for profits and bragging rights have put the final nail in the coffin of real journalism.
Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC are all culprits in this debacle. The fact that they broadcast an erroneous rumor as fact without vetting it through the proper channels to verify its accuracy says everything about their quality of service. They are not news agencies... they're nothing more than tabloid rags competing for the prime spot on the checkout rack at the supermarket.
This is yet another example in the long line of classic fumbles in news reporting over the last decade. (One nail in the coffin after another) The families of the dead coal miners have every right to be angry. I'm just curious as to how the networks and newspapers will spin that anger.
Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher concurs.
In one of the most disturbing and disgraceful media performances of this type in recent years, television and newspapers carried the tragically wrong news late Tuesday and early Wednesday that 12 of 13 trapped coal miners in West Virginia had been found alive and safe. Hours later they had to reverse course, often blaming the mix-up on "miscommunication."
Update 1030: Let the spin begin.
Fox News: "Tragic Misunderstanding"
CNN: "Anderson Cooper, the CNN host, ripped the coal company at 3 a.m. for not correcting the wrong reports for so long, but did not explain why CNN went with the good news without strong confirmation."
Modern Journalism at its finest.
posted by El Capitan at 8:16 AM
After reading the article, it sounds more that someone mistook the "We found 12..." and never thought to wonder if they meant *alive* or not. I'm not sure the media were actually involved, but it does sound like something mainstream media would do - take a hook, milk it for ratings, then hope things don't backfire (see Dan Rather for that little jewel of a plan).9:15 AM
The front page of the AZ Daily Star headliner says “12 of 13 miners found alive” The article is written by James Deo of the NYT. Everything in the article is speculative. Nothing but rumors and not a wink of evidence that they are alive like they heard tapping or someone calling, just words of hope from the desperate spun into facts. A look at Google News (search ”miners” shows both stories) I hope America takes them to task for this. We need new sources we can trust.10:26 AM
For the past few years it seems increasingly so that "reporting" what's happening isn't the norm anymore, but creating news so you have something to talk about 24 hours/day is. One of the functions of the media is supposed to be "surveillance" which tells you what's going on...it seems like speculation & innuendo pass for hard news anymore & it's horribly obvious in a case like this tragedy in WV.12:04 PM