Media errors in Boston irresponsible

You’d think with a story as important as the Boston bombing, the media would be more careful about what they report. CNN must have been talking for two hours about a suspect having been identified from surveillance video and arrested. And then suddenly there they were retracting those reports. Official sources said there had been no arrest. So what sources was CNN using when they reported the arrest? I switched over to MSNBC and they were also walking back the arrest report. This is what happens when media are more concerned about being first than about being accurate. Even with a story that could be a matter of national security. Reprehensible.

11 thoughts on “Media errors in Boston irresponsible

    1. Today’s coverage was galling me because very little of it was new information. It was rampant speculation, accompanied by video we’ve seen 5,000 times since Monday. And then came the erroneous report. Reporters are supposed to have a minimum of two reliable sources before they break any story. At least that was the rule in the old days …

  1. News used to be about being accurate with facts…all about being first.
    Too many groups working the case without coordinating….some people get a buzz from “leaking” info – should be consequences.
    Sometimes the investigators have a suspect in sight and are trying to follow that one to others before making arrest – like they did in London recently (trailed them for several days before making huge arrest)
    Hope the media didn’t spoil things

    1. First gets them noticed, gets them the audience, gets them the recognition … and eventually, they hope, gets them the advertising dollars. I was told it was the FBI who called CNN out on this, so obviously the FBI wasn’t one of their sources. That kind of sloppy reporting, as you said, could have screwed up the investigation.

      1. Saudi prince meeting Pres. in White House tonight – that Saudi student from a wealthy family in southern part of Saudi that was under guard in the hospital is being deported shortly for “national security”….what?
        It looks like the FBI is desperately trying to keep information under control so they can investigate – it’s apparently quite a challenge …territorial issues among law enforcement?

        1. I’m sure it’s chaotic, with everybody from the Boston police to the White House working on the case. I’d heard about the Saudi, but now he’s being deported? Hadn’t heard about that. Gotta go read up on that.

  2. I can’t get too excited about this, actually. Reporters are human and I expect something less than perfection. What would disturb me greatly is if they weren’t quick to correct their errors. Happens in the military too, sometimes grievously, when adrenaline seizes the cortex. It’s called the “fog of war”.

    1. Maybe it’s my background, but I have no sympathy for this kind of screw-up with a story this important. Once again, the desire to be first trumped less important things like “check the facts.”

  3. Unlike CNN, apparently, I will admit when I’m wrong. I was. Maybe I should read up on subjects before I comment rather than just given a knee-jerk response.

    One of our local journalists based his column this morning on CNN’s lapses, lapses for which I believe they have yet to apologize fully for. Maybe humor is the appropriate remedy.

    1. Suspect now saying, there may not be a CNN.

    2. CNN: The most trusting name in news.

... and that's my two cents

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