Not enough time at the moment to write a lot about this, but a couple of points:

1. There’s a certain painful humor in watching racists falling all over themselves to blame the people they think of as enemies. The Onion got it spot on.

2. Rather than being a victory for “indie” reporting–Reddit, Twitter, et. al.–this incident proved that the only people who should be trusted to report critical stories like this are trained, ethical journalists. And no, TV talking heads and/or people with generic “communications” degrees don’t count. Sadly, even a lot of J school grads don’t count, either, seeing as how so many of those schools in the ’80s/’90s got stuck in the “balance = objectivity” fallacy.

Journalism is about one thing: conveying accurate information to the public. Figuring out what is accurate information and who has it is something that only comes with training and experience. It’s also something that tends to go by the wayside when a given reporter/media outlet is focused too much on getting a story out quickly and/or trying to avoid the appearance of bias to pay attention to the facts. The public doesn’t care who had a story first; only who had it right. If you screw your reputation by getting it wrong, you’ll lose a lot more audience than if you hold back until you’re sure you have all the facts.


About Shawna (A Mediated Life)

Writer, singer, parent, fan, media maven, and general ne'er-do-well. Fierce protector of the rights of the disadvantaged and endless pontificator on subjects both ridiculous and sublime.
This entry was posted in Ethics, Intarweebz Drama, Journalism. Bookmark the permalink.

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