What do you do as a news consumer when big news breaks? Do you turn to your Twitter feed for the ebb and flow (and maybe even the flotsam and jetsam) in a sea of information? Do you turn to a trusted TV or print news source, keeping one eyebrow raised in skepticism?
Maybe you always keep one eyebrow raised because you’re a journalist. I certainly do because more often than not these days when big news breaks, some news org falls flat on its face. This time, it was CNN and (really, I’m not kidding) AP. But they weren’t alone (check out this piece for a wrap-up of how much bad information was published). And not for the first time. In other breaking news stories in recent years, it’s been The New York Times and even NPR that have had to apologize. Everyone, it seems, is vulnerable to getting blown away in the sh**storm that breaking news has become in this day of multitudinous “news” sources.
The Boston Marathon bombings story and aftermath leaves us with so much to talk about and process. But let’s use this story from Buzzfeed as a conversation-starter on Tuesday.
The author asserts (among other things) that:
Now, the original function of news organizations — uncovering and verifying new information — is as important as it’s always been. But it’s now become the crucial responsibility of a news organization to gather and contextualize information that the media didn’t uncover itself.
That presumably includes rumors and speculation. After you’ve read the piece, comment here and/or on your blog. I really want to know what you think. Is it possible for good journalism to include “the other narratives”? What exactly, in your view, does the writer have in mind?