Not only was the story out of Texas gruesome – there was a report that about 30 dismembered bodies were found and that some were children – but it also spread like wildfire; an Australian news station was one of the first to pick it up.
NPR’s Bob Garfield reports on this story for On The Media and tells us how it got so out of control (you can listen to him here).
Some insights on today’s reporting practices from Bob’s report:
· The common practice of news organizations citing other news organizations to validate a story
· A newsroom, KPRC-TV, that doesn’t know and is unable to determine which staff tweeted what under the company’s name
· Newsrooms that have separate journalistic policies for different media, i.e. one policy for news reporting “on air” and another to govern social media updates
Posted by akenney at 1:57 PM
I have been thinking about this NY Times editorial for a couple of weeks. Two things in it haunt me:
The danger of being a Russian journalist and being hunted by your own government
The contrast between American and Russian media and their power to affect change
Valery Panyushkin says, “I no longer write about politics because it increasingly feels pointless to do so in a country with no real public involvement in political life.”
Contrast that with the American media, which writes unceasingly about American politics – from investigative, expository journalism that can lead to indictments or policy change to subjecting individual politicians to a harsh media spotlight.
In the same issue that Panyushkin’s editorial appeared, the New York Times published a front-page, above-the-fold story on how Lindsay Lohan’s troubles have created a black market for news and information about the celebrity.
In Russia the stakes are much higher: reporting on an injustice puts the journalist in danger. It was likely the reason Anna Politkovskaya was murdered, Oleg Kashin was savagely attacked and Panyushkin is being intimidated.
Posted by akenney at 11:21 AM