This Week in #Journalism: Oops is the New Norm


Well, it happened again.  News organizations were too busy reporting to worry about the truth.  Oops.  In the world of vetted sources, Reuters kills it’s Next big thing, All Things D’s co-editors leave for greener pastures and Sheboygan High drops it’s 178 year old print edition.

A Tragic Mess

“Breaking news is never pretty — anyone who hungers for facts and speed during a story as fluid as Monday’s shootings in Washington, D.C., is asking for a lot. Still, there were some notable screwups today, like…

  • Identifying suspect without official confirmation
  • Reporting numbers
  • Describing shooter’s race
  • Quoting police scanners

“Mistaken reporting on big, breaking events has become almost standard in the social-
media age.”  “We’ve gotten into a situation where the media’s standard operating procedure has become report first, confirm second and correct third,” said Dave Statter, a veteran TV news reporter who maintains, a Web site that reports on police and emergency services.

“Seriously, just ignore us. Wait it out. We’re wrong. We’ll keep on being wrong. File “mesmorizing” with “igon values” in the lexicon of accidentally valuable terminology. We’re all mesmorized. Those alarming yet tedious hours between something horrible happening and anyone figuring out what it was—forget about it, unless you’re in the vicinity. The only positive development this time was that the Reddit investigative thread immediately turned into a forum for abusing would-be investigators, then shut down entirely. Who did it? Piggy Poopballs did it. Reddit wins the news cycle.”

Other News

“Next is a long way from achieving either commercial viability or strategic success. In fact, I believe the existing suite of sites is a better starting point for where we need to go,” Chief Executive Andrew Rashbass wrote. “Therefore, I have decided to cancel the Next project and put our efforts into enhancing and improving the existing sites. We will repurpose as much of the Next development work as we can for that.”

All Things D’s split: “First things first: We’re keeping the Steelcase hot-seat red chairs. Forever. In fact, we own quite a few now.

And we’ll still be scooping and reviewing all things digital right here, at this Web address, for a few more months.”

“After a combined 178 years of producing printed copies of their school newspapers, Sheboygan North and South high schools have moved solely to online versions this school year.”  “We’re always attempting to model what is going on outside the world of education so we can prepare students for entrance into either college or the workforce,” North High Principal Jason Bull said.


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