Boston Marathon Bombing Victim: Journalism

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Boston Marathon journalismI try to pay attention. It’s in my DNA. I’ve been a newsie since I was a kid and collected newspapers depicting epic moments in history. I’ve spent a career in information. I’ve been a talk show host for most of my career but I cut my teeth in capital J journalism. I’ve won box loads of journalism awards. I’ve been President of the local journalism society. I count scribes and broadcast and bloggers as my kindred.

And the coverage of this Boston Marathon bombing arrest story is a disgrace. 

I’m sick to death of people who are supposed to be reporters going with a story as certain only to later hear, “nevermind.”

This morning I saw the news via twitter that CNN was reporting a suspect arrested in the Boston Marathon bombings. I immediately went to CNN’s website to see if they were reporting such a story. They were. I retweeted the story and then went hunting for what I’ve found to be the most reliable source for reaction and facts on the case since Monday’s bombing, Boston TV’s Fox 25 affiliate. Before too long they claimed their sources at the cop shop were confirming an arrest had been madeI repeated that. Two supposedly trusted news sources had reported an arrest.

That was after we heard there were seven bombs not two in the hours after the bombing. Then there was the explosion that the cops said was being treated as part of the bombing attack, but then took it back later and said, ‘naw, couldn’t be.’ Then we had an arrest at the hospital but, no, that wasn’t true, either. 

Then the Boston TV anchor began to use weenie words in describing this confirmed arrest. 

“We’re getting conflicting reports that…”

And within moments there was no arrest anymore. 

There an addage in journlism, “You’re only as good as your sources.” 

Judging by your sources? You people suuuuuck!

Gadzooks, who’s your !&^(*^*(/! source, Alex Jones? 

One reporter foisted the problem of the wrong story to the heat of competition due to the speed of social media. It was the Twitter Defense. What a pantload.  

The creative destruction of the media has left a bunch of incompetent children in charge of disseminating information to the world that should best be left to adults or at least somebody with decent sources. 

Since you CNN reporters and local producers on the streets of Boston haven’t bothered to get an education, not in J-school I mean, but in real life, here’s my suggestion, “Get it first, but first, get it right.” How’s that for old school? Oh, and how about double checking your !%#^%$#%! sources because obviously THEY SUCK!

Just because Woodward and Bernstein made careers out of bringing down a President with a cavalcade of unnamed sources doesn’t make your use of them ethical or correct. You’re wrong. Over and over again. 

I trusted them. And I DOUBLE CHECKED THEM! And they weren’t just wrong, they were SPECTACULARLY WRONG





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