Let me preface this by saying I don’t presume to generalize, because I hate that, and I don’t want to lump all journalists into the same category. There certainly are some great ones out there, who still live by standards of integrity. Unfortunately, during times like we experienced last week, there has been a repeated pattern of ‘jumping the gun’ (pardon the pun) and reporting inaccuracies. Although I may be “just a blogger” and a relatively new one at that, I make darn sure to research whatever my topic is and to cite my sources appropriately. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Lewis that it’s ‘time to have a national conversation…about the media’.
(The Week) It’s time to have a national conversation… about the media.
But first, let’s recount how they’ve blown the coverage of the tragic school shootings in Connecticut:
The media originally reported the wrong name of the alleged shooter. (The suspected killer was Ryan Lanza, they breathlessly reported. Turns out it was actually Ryan’s brother, Adam.) Then, some in the media advertised Ryan’s Facebook and Twitter pages. (This, of course, brings to mind Brian Ross’ irresponsible and premature on-air suggestion over the summer that the Aurora shooter was a Tea Party member.)
As if those cases of egregiously mistaken identity weren’t enough, producers and reporters began trolling Twitter, seeking to proposition friends and relatives of the victims for an interview.