Who Broke the News?

We regret the error, again.
I’ve written here before about the tenuous equilibrium some news organizations have when trying to balance speed with accuracy. The news coming second-by-second out of Boston is no different. But with the increasing importance—and use—of social media, these institutions are proving less and less reliable.

I won’t get into a long discussion of the accounts from Boston since they are still evolving so rapidly, but here are a few collections from others about how news outlets brought us facts that weren’t. 
Next, here’s Andy Carvin’s Storify collection of incorrect reports that authorities had suspects in custody.




Finally, The Poynter Institue has a great article about the three trends they see rising thanks to continued confused reporting.


“I’ve noticed that breaking news errors also give rise to three corollary events: the debunking and crowdsourcing of information, public explanations from news organizations about how they avoided mistakes, and an unwillingness on the part of the mistaken to accept responsibility.”
Craig Silverman- Regret the Error, 18 April 2013


We’re human. We make mistakes. But with the ubiquity of amplification tools that we all have at our fingertips, these errors have the ability to become the prevailing truth, for at least a moment or two.

Our ability to quickly update and change digital editions of news accounts means that this misinformation is virtually wiped away as soon as it’s discovered. Without any lingering trace, are we learning anything when these stains are removed?

We can pick that part up when I see you on the ‘morrow, on the Web.