The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

April 24, 2013

Our View: Epic fail

It seemed like the easiest of questions, one that would result in a simple “yes” or “no” answer: Is a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings under arrest?

Yet this past Wednesday many in the national media were left with egg on their faces when they failed to inform their viewers of the correct answer to that question.

The rush to break the story of an arrest in the case was led off by CNN, followed closely by The Associated Press, the Boston Globe, Fox News and others.

News outlets erroneously reported that an arrest had been made in the bombings. The New York Post was also hotly criticized for inaccurate reporting. It sparked even more controversy when it splashed pictures of two innocent men with the headline “BAG MEN: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon.”

When the AP issued an alert that a suspect in the bombing was in custody, The Joplin Globe posted that information on its website and social media sites.

Less than an hour later, we had to update those posts when the AP began backtracking its report, citing an official with the Boston Police Department who said that no suspect had been arrested.

It’s more than just a red-faced moment for our industry. It goes to the very core of credibility. We imagine it will be some time before members of the public forget the confusion and chaos they saw on their televisions, their computers, their phones or tablets.

Sadly, in this 24/7 news cycle, real facts are being deemed less important than “what is going to happen next?”

Getting the news out first is an important part of our business. But being first will never replace being right.

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Opinion
  • Other Views Other Views: Eroding court’s authority

    While Kansans were focused on the twists and turns of school finance this past week, lawmakers made an unnecessary and historic change in how the state’s district courts operate, coercively tying the reforms to badly needed funding.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Travesty

    What a travesty that a terrific young man from Spain is on the verge of deportation even though he has proven his worth in America (Globe, April 13).

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: Astonishing transformation

    The transformation of the Republican Party in the last decade is astonishing.

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: The changing view

    It is heartbreaking to hear the decades old trees (which border on South Pennsylvania in Webb City) cracking and being bulldozed down.

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Safe and sound

    Of the 7,500 Joplin and Duenweg homes hit by the 2011 EF-5 tornado, fewer than 20 percent of them had basements.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

    Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

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