Editor & Publisher just put up an op-ed of mine* about the media lessons of the twin disasters at the Sago mine in West Virginia. Again, I think what I say here applies to all forms of media.

MINE RESCUE LESSON: JUST SAY ‘DON’T KNOW’

By David D. Perlmutter/Editor&Publisher.com (January 05, 2006)

In the wake of the Sago mine disaster, perhaps a new category of Pulitzer Prize should be created to honor the journalists or news managers who caution that a story is not ready for prime time or publication. We must re-evaluate how journalism produces and delivers the “first draft of history.”

“Journalism,” claimed former Washington Post publisher Philip Graham, “is the first draft of history.” But when I set my students, as an exercise, to factually verify initial media reports of major news events they are shocked. From the Tiananmen uprisings and government crackdown to the flooding of New Orleans, they find the same sad tale. The first draft is full of errors.

The need to reevaluate how journalism produces and delivers a first draft of news is made even more imperative by the twin disasters of Sago, West Virginia. First, there was the explosion in the coal mine, which apparently led to the eventual death of at least a dozen trapped miners. The second calamity was the false story that most of the miners had survived and were being rescued.

In perspective, the media did not create the rumor that the miners were safe. Miscommunication, misheard phone exchanges, and optimistic gossip probably lay at the root of the bad information. Officials, too, were at fault for not immediately clarifying what they knew and what they did not. But the fact is, most Americans, including probably people who knew the miners, believed the three hours of saturation news reports on television and the Internet that the miners were “rescued.”

Did any news producer or editor decide not to run the “safe!” story, arguing, “Whoa, no one has confirmed this. Let’s not run the rescue angle until we get 100 percent confirmation. Until then, let’s just say we don’t know.”

Modern newscraft, addicted to technology, worships the god of speed. Laptops, satellites, and cell phones make live-from-ground-zero reporting alluring. But the problems instantaneousness creates can not be ignored.

The rise of 24-hour news demands that every minute of the long news day be filled with sensational items. I am old enough to remember taking alarm when an anchorman would cut into regular programming, to the accompaniment of a thumping Telex rhythm, intoning soberly: “This just in: Breaking news.” Now, it sometimes seems, on CNN and Fox News the anchors and the streamer graphics announce significant “breaking news” two or three times between every commercial break. As a result, we have lost all perspective about what is an important story and, more vital, what is most important about a news story: getting the facts right.

My colleague Andrea Miller (LSU), who specializes in studying breaking news, and I have found the public to be turned off by the clutter of too much breaking news and the sensationalism attached to mundane stories. They also resent the barrage of stories that may be visually interesting but hardly constitute important news, like, say, the ubiquitous California highway police chase. In one study of people’s reaction to hypothetical breaking news stories, we found that people were largely uninterested in which news organization was first with the report. Yes, there were exceptions: derailed tanker spilling deadly chemicals; tsunami headed for one’s city.

But for almost every other type of news report, people had two demands. The first was accuracy–that they were being told the truth, and if not the whole truth at least nothing but the truth. Second, people wanted relevance, knowing that the hyped-up news item was objectively of importance in their lives, not just eye candy.

The twin tragedies of Sago, West Virginia suggest that the god of speed must be thrown down and that accuracy and relevance should become the preeminent standards of serious journalism. In an era when many newsworkers are wondering about their future, giving the public information they trust, respect and need is both good journalism and good business.

David D. Perlmutter (letters@editorandpublisher.com) is an associate professor of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University and a senior fellow at the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs. He is the author of “Policing the Media” (Sage, 2000) and editor of the policybyblog website.

 

Update on Saturday, January 7, 2006

Thanks to regrettheerror for praise for this column. They also offer outstanding round-up of media reactions to the Sago story.

Update on Wednesday, February 18, 2009

*Original piece is now off-line, but I have a pdf up here among my collection of professional essays.

Note: The essays was written before the rise of Twitter and rss–the “need for speed” is now greater than ever as the MsM are regularly scooped by citizen journalists.

Originally posted January 5, 2006 at PolicyByBlog

One Comment

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    Original Reader Comments (104)

    Not everyone is a Shepard Smith. Mostly because they don’t have the resources to get to the news, so they would go by word of mouth or the “I thought I saw…” type truth. But in almost every job out there, the most important characteristic is accuracy. Especially when it comes to news accuracy is a must. Inaccurate news is like a flash light for a blind person. It’s useless. So when it comes to the important things that a citizen needs to know we can’t put our trust in someone who happens to overhear a conversation that was going on around them. We must wait for the person who is willing to do the right thing for the truth even if it means not having the story published first.
    January 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Griffin
    The Sago mine tragedy is a horrible example of bad communication. The trouble with speed is the loss of accuracy. Unfortunately, our news media does not have the luxury of flawless information processing at high speed.

    When given a “tip”, they jump on it. It’ll be tomorrow’s front page story! They should be embarrassed spreading the word that the miners were rescued. The front page story the following day should be titled “SORRY!”. I’m sure the people who knew the miners are extremely upset for being given a false hope.

    The problem here is that the news media is not sorry. They do not care. They have no feelings. All that matters is their front page story that sold 1000’s of copies. It all goes back to doing anything for a dollar.

    As a consumer/citizen, I would rather have the correct information or no information at all. Unfortunately, the news media is out there to make money and they will go to any extent to do so; even if it means printing invalid information.
    January 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterIgetbanned
    Just before reading this article I was flipping through the television channels and stopped on Fox News because they were showing a car chase between police and a blue Nissan in Atlanta. Curious, I decided to watch for a couple of minutes to get the full story. Well, a full story was never given. After the police apprehended the suspect the announcer said, “These were scenes from a police chase involving a blue Nissan. The reasons for the chase and the identity of the suspect are not yet known.” I quickly changed the channel thinking how stupid the reporting of the story was. I had just wasted five minutes watching a story that really wasn’t a story at all. If there is no full story to give, I don’t think there should be a reporting of the story at all. Like the article says, no one wants half of the story and people especially don’t want a half factual story. The Sago Mine tragedy was one of these examples. The point of journalism should be to get the correct facts to the people as quickly as possible, not just to get a story to press.
    January 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterA Blonde in Law School?
    The press needs to be more responsible for the news that they introduce to the world. The “reporters” are so interested in being the first to break the story that they don’t care about whether or not it’s true. The Sago mine disaster is not the first of these occurrences.

    Another great example of this irresponsible reporting is the incident involving Hurricane Katrina and the New Orleans Metro Area. So many reporters were repeating rumors spread around by people who were obviously not reliable sources. I’m half surprised the rumor “Bourbon Street is under 8 feet of water” was not on the front page of the newspaper.

    Its ridiculous that news corporations have lost their integrity and have forgotten their responsibility to print the facts, not fiction.
    January 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBill Lumberg, Initech supervisor
    As the world around us keeps getting faster and faster, our patience has seemed to grow thinner and thinner. When news about a tragic disaster comes about, we want the information about it as soon as possible. The mass media seems to have no problem with the speed at which they can get the information to us, but they do have a problem with the speed at which they obtain their information. The rate limiting step in how fast the information gets to us is not how fast they can send it, but how fast they can obtain it. I have noticed that most stories make the headlines before all the information is known and then hopefully updated later for the complete story. I do not have a problem with this; I like to be made aware of major events taking place as they are happening. I do have a problem when the media tries to write the story before it happens. This seems to be happening more and more often as the race to get the information gets tighter and tighter.
    January 20, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNewsCruiser
    A lot of people blame the media for the Sago mine disaster, and rightly so. The reporters should get the story right the first time. There is no excuse for jumping the gun, especially if the lives of people and there families are involved. The competition between the big time news stations and papers to get the story first to often interferes with getting the story right. Those news stations and papers how waited tell they confirmed the story at the expense of a scoop are a good example of proper journalism. In the news climate of today with everybody attempting to out scoop each other it is surprising to me that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often. I also believe that there is another party involved. We the people are just as guilty for the state of are current media. We support this type of journalism by watching the stations and buying the papers. If we did not consume this form of media it would not be on TV or the news stand.
    January 20, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Johnson
    Stating that the media needs to be more accurate is an obvious and lackluster comment. Of course the media needs to be accurate, fair, balanced and unbiased – that is something obvious and at the basis of the foundations of journalism. However being a newspaper reporter for the past two year, I feel I must also defend the way in which news is produced on a daily basis. There are errors and problems in the quick turnaround of information but news organizations are merely responding to the up-to-the-second demands of the consumer in today’s world. People are not willing to wait for information – they want it immediately at the touch of a finger. If people want what they consider “more quality” reporting, then wait a moment and allow journalists to do their work. Unfortunately, the consumer won’t allow that moment and will just hurriedly turn the channel or flip the page. Many times people don’t understand how the media works – or have an appreciation for that process. They are just quick to label any information contradictory to their desires as the “left-wing media” or “conservative media.” In the Sago mine incident a horrible oversight did occur. But these reporters were only giving the information their sources told them out. All throughout their vigil at the mine the reporters spoke and dealt directly with the miners’ families. With officials unavailable, the families were the one source of information. It was not the media that told the families their loved ones were still alive. The medias’ sources were credible, it was just that they too were given the wrong information. Should the media have caught it? – Yes of course, but the consumer that demands breaking, developing stories should not be surprised that what they are receiving is a ‘developing’ issue with varying information.
    January 20, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterreporter123
    Creating news breaking headlines should not have become a race when dealing with potential tragedies and actual lives. Hardly any thought was given to how much inaccurate reports could negatively impact the many families involved in the Sago disaster. All the attention surrounded who would be the first with the much anticipated news. Considering the severity of the situation at hand, this should have been the last concern. I agree that inaccurate reporting such as this is completely useless and creates more harm than good. This is not the first time the media has been wrong. It certainly will not be the last until a realization is come to that all stories cannot be sorted out and broadcasted within the hour. No word should have been publicized that was hearsay and that came from someone other than an official. Rightfully, most people do expect the media to live up to the responsibility of reporting the news timely and correct in every detail. The media needs to stop focusing on who will have the story first, and turn the attention to the impact inaccurate news will have on the viewers.
    January 20, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBrandi130
    This is just one prime example of what goes on all the time in news media. Every day the journalist can make a decision to put himself before the public or to get it right. I know the pressure he or she is under has to be intense, but let’s be real here. How many times does that first “breaking” report really get them preference over other news networks.
    To echo what others have said, when I am watching news I want complete coverage, accurate and relevant. If all they have is images and hearsay, it is imperative to keep it under wraps unless the little news available is essential to help a significant or specific group.
    January 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterwhatcanIsay
    When the runner on the bottom of the TV screen on E! News Entertainment reads, �Just in! Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are going to have a baby of their own!� I have to admit that I stop watching the program and read the rest of the news. It�s sad but true. I like to know what is going on in entertainment. I do have to confess, however, that I don�t watch CNN, MSNBC, or FOX news because I honestly get depressed doing so. I will also admit that I think I was the last person on planet earth to hear about the Sago miners. I found out three days after it happened, but I got the correct story. I knew that only one had even made it to the hospital. I got to mourn the loss instead of thanking God they had survived. There is a difference between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie having a kid, and the death of a dozen people. I think I could get over the fact that Brangelina wasn�t having a child, but thinking that my husband or son was alive when they were actually dead would affect me for the rest of my life. I think that the media has a responsibility to give the RIGHT news not the FASTEST news.
    January 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlovinit123
    The Sago mine tragedy is a perfect example of the news trying to make a story before they actually have the information. Every station wants to be the first with the latest news so if they don’t have the complete story, they will fill in the holes with what they think they know or what they think happened. Its not always accurate. If I’m going to watch the news, I would like a story that is actually true, even it I have to wait a little longer to get it. As soon as a reporter thinks they find a piece of information they report it and half the time it ends up not being the truth. That is a huge problem with the media today.
    January 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterit’s me
    I agree that accuracy of a news story is vital for both the viewers watching and the people reporting. I also think that while accuracy is important it is hard to look past the fact that both the media and it’s viewers are in a hurry today. If something big has happened people want to know and they want to know first. No one wants to be left in the dark when people are talking about a large news event. The idea of saying “I dont know” to a piece of information rather than give false information, is the best idea I have heard. That way people are getting the news fast and are getting it as accuratly as possible. These reporters are getting paid to tell us what is going on in the world, it’s part of their job to research it. No one should get hired just because they can gossip about what they have heard. A doctor doesn’t get his job just because he gives someone medicine when their sick. He gets his job because he knows what each symptom means, he’s researched it, and therefore he knows specifically what they need to get better. Just like a doctor no one wants a reporter who thinks their job is done because he can give people something quick even though it may not be accurate. People want someone who can back up the information they report. Like they always say, “think before you speak.”
    January 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterspdride1
    In today’s society the rapidly decreasing attention span, fueled with the need for instant gratification is a disastrous combination when it comes to the media. The Sago Mine tragedy is an excellent example of this as well as the media breaking the number one rule of journalism: Don’t fabricate your facts.
    However, we cant entirely blame the news organizations for their desire to bring us up to the minute news. The media would not have the pressure of providing speedy news if we didn’t demand it. So maybe instead of solely chastising the media, we should also critique ourselves, asking why we put so much pressure on the media. Don’t get me wrong the media falsely reporting the minors safety was very tragic and poor journalism, but we must also remember the media exists because we allow it to. Overall I believe the accuracy of news is way more important than the amount of time it takes for it to be delivered. The news should take this media mishap as a lesson to be more accurate in their deliverance of all news.
    January 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersalesgirl21
    I have to admit, the night of the Sago mine tragedy I sat glued to my tv, awaiting the outcome. Was I concerned about the lives of these 12 men and their families? Probably. But more likely I was tuned in because the situation interested me. There was a sense of danger and drama. Bold red letters at the bottom of the screen told me this and kept me on this news channel rather then reruns of “Friends.” This was exactly what the news station wanted: my full, undivided attention.
    When the outcome was announced I quickly changed the channel to something more light hearted, thinking to myself, “cool, they’re safe.” And that was the end. I hadn’t even known what mine had collapsed or where it was. I completely forgot about the incident until the next morning when I saw the headlines. What I heard had been wrong; a horrible tragedy had occurred and there was nothing “cool” about it. But now that my trusty news station had failed me I paid even more attention to it and a much longer time glued to it to get the full story.
    The station had been wrong, but had still won. They now had more devoted watchers trying to figure out the real story, just what they wanted. Just goes to show, no publicity is bad publicity. They may have lost some accountability, but their speed at bringing me the right story and admitting their mistake keeps me a loyal watcher. So maybe speed is better for them then getting the story right.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteraaliz913
    I certainly agree with the statement that accuracy and relevance are the two most important aspects in a good news story. It’s amazing how much society and the media, especially, have changed in presenting and receiving the news stories that are so important. News organizations would rather have the first breaking story about an incidence than an accurate story, totally disregarding the viewer’s feelings of optimism as shown with the Sago disaster. Also the viewer’s are somewhat at fault for choosing to watch sources which could be unreliable, just because they have the first cast of the breaking news. The media needs to start focusing on accuracy rather than speed, especially in situations like the Sago disaster in which so many lives were being affected.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRocky77
    I think that this just sums up the news media. The news is terrible. In every global event lately, of which most have been horribly tragic, the news puts anything on the television that they want. They either make things seem much worse and more terrible than they are, or they do not give any justice to the situation.
    The miner tragedy is the media’s problem coming to a head. The news broadcasted something that they truly had no idea about as if they were not even cosidering that there were real people involved in this and not just the top ratings of a poll because they were the first to report. The news does things with disregard to human life. It is sad that you cannot even rely on news or newspapers that much anymore.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterOprah
    In response to both the article written by Professor Perlmutter and the responses of everyone else, I both agree and disagree with a lot of what is said. I feel that it was horrible that the major news magazines and newspaper got the story wrong, but also I feel that some people, while they may think they would rather the media be correct than quick, are failing to accept that the quickness factor is becoming more and more important. I use the example of TV and internet overtaking newspaper in the media.

    Every year the readership of newspapers declines, and the main reason for this is the increase in media that can get the information out the fastest. While I’m not making excuses for the media who did mess this one up, I think that a lot of people are just using this situation to bash the media, when the whole world is trying to get news faster and faster, placing even more stress on newspapers that are trying to compete with the faster TV and internet media.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenter311 Fan
    The pressure to be the first to release a big story can cause the media to print stories that not are 100 percent fact. Reporters can become so consumed with being the best, that they neglect what their true job is about, reporting the TRUTH. Almost every day the American public consumes false information about what is happening in the world around them. For example, it is hard to believe that during the Sago mine tragedy reporters gave hope to victims family, friends, and everyone around the world who was following the story. One could draw a conclusion that a breaking news story is not always fact, and correction usually follows soon after the so called “breaking news”. Although many reporters and media have a problem jumping the gun and reporting assumptions, there is a handful of respectful and true journalist that deserve recognition for the hard work they pour into their job. If these hard working journalists were to receive the Pulitzer Prize, then it would hopefully influence other journalist to report not with speed but with accuracy.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterScarlett1
    Over the years the media has portrayed that quickness is of more importance than the accuracy of the story itself. The “big name” news companies are steadily competing with one another on who will get and deliver the news first. It seems to me that the importance in accuracy of the news itself and the true story with it has slowly become irrelevant to the need of these companies to distribute the news first. On the other hand, we the consumer are partially to blame for this problem. We as people have become impatient and have become unwilling to wait for the news. We are use to getting the news when and how we want it and then proceeding on with our busy lives. Therefore the person or people watching and listening to a “breaking story” should not be surprised by the variety of interpretations of the story. Yes though, I do believe that the media should take more pride as a company and strive to be more accurate in reporting the news to the people.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBilly Bob
    Lately, there is such a rush to be the first to break a story and get out to the public. Instances such as the one with Dan Rather, shows us that accuracy in the media is slipping. Publications and television networks are forgetting check the facts. Large, respectable newspapers such as the New York Times and the USA Today were among those who reported that the miners had been rescued. The number one job of reporters and newspapers is accuracy. I wonder if accuracy has been replaced by speed and beating the competition. I am sure that the average consumer does not take the time to check to see which publication or network reported news first. Publications and networks need to take the time to check the facts and make sure the information given is from a reliable source. It angers me that big publications ran with a rumor and did not wait for any release from a reliable source. It is just irresponsible reporting and they should ashamed.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbeanie20

    “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything”. This quote from the Greek historian Xenophon should be upheld as the new guideline for all media partaking. The despair and false hope provided by the Sago mine disaster is one that will linger indefinitely. A great deal of this desolation is due in part to the glory hungry journalists of the United States. With each day passing, the desire for more money and fame grows and as a result, the accuracy of the stories being reported is compromised. As the battle to be first continues on, we the people are the ones bearing the brunt for the inexcusable actions of our journalists.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdawnpro
    Before I read this article, I had no idea as to the extent of how much the media rushes to publish stories that they have not yet confirmed all the details. I agree with Billy Bob when he says “Over the years the media has portrayed that quickness is of more importance than the accuracy of the story itself.” Because sadly, it’s true. A journalist’s job is to report the truth to the people of the world. Reporting the news should not be a matter of who can report it the fastest, but how accurately they give people the facts. People really don’t care how fast a story is reported, as long as the media reports the truth in an accurate and honest fashion. It is up to journalists and the media to inform us honestly about what is happening in the world.
    It’s a shame that the media misinformed people by falsely reporting that the SAGO miners were alive and safe, when in reality none of that was confirmed before it was run on national TV; it gave the families of the miners false hope that their loved one was alive. Hopefully this mistake will teach reporters and journalists to check their facts before running a story in the papers or on television.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterprincessnic8604
    If people truly wanted completely accurate information and were willing to wait for it, that is exactly what they would get. I think what is overlooked in this article is the ideology of American people today and our “on the go” life style. People need their news, sports scores, stock updates, all to be on their cell phone at all times of day. It’s this demand that drives the media to continue to push itself to the needs of their customers. That’s right I mean the average American person. I think Perlmutter’s questions only prove the old saying, “that hindsight is 100%.” Of course when you ask someone if they want the right information or the wrong information fast, you are going to get the right information. I understand that is not how questions would have been worded but the fact is we want our news fast and we want it right.

    I think the media is still to blame but only because they have a responsibility to get us our news fast AND right. With today’s technology this should be very possible and it is up to people to be smart and not report on a story they don’t have all the facts on. I believe the media has always had these problems, but in our new fast pace world we seem to notice them more when the media “gets it wrong.” Take some responsibility there is no reason you can’t report it fast and accurate. Obviously accurate and slow isn’t as bad as fast and wrong but to all those people out there with jobs be careful because both might loose you your job.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterInstant
    The 21st century has brought with it a time in which a person can be on two sides of the Earth in one day. People fly from New York to Los Angeles for a meeting and are back in time for dinner. Life these days is dominated by accessibility and speed, often forfitting the importance of quality. These traits are reflected in all aspects of the media and entertainment industries. Movies, TV shows, and unfortunately news programs fall into the category of being fast paced, action packed, and eye-catching. Maybe the entire population is suffering from ADHD, or else we have become so desensitized to everything around us it is continually taking more and more to win over audiences. With the happenings of the Sago mine tragedy, everyone is jumping all over the news outlets for reporting false information. But at the heart of the situation is that they are in fact just another business trying to profit. This is not necessarily a bad thing. After the incident of the mine, everyone is saying they should have waited and got the complete and actual facts. But we as a people want to watch the channel where we get the most prevalent and dramatic information the quickest. We don’t want to watch four hours of boring monogamous reporting and then find out the result of the story. Why do you think so many movies have multiple climatic type scenes throughout the film, because we are a hard audience to keep entertained. I think that the Sago mine disaster shows as much as anything that we as a people have gotten to the point that we have to be constantly given the most exciting and dramatic information quickly even at the cost of accuracy. This is the exact reason that we were all tuned in to the channels reporting that the miners were alive. We should question ourselves as much as the media outlets.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterM-town
    As others earlier on this post have stated about are attention span. I concur. I was up watching the news whenever they announced the miners were alive, but what you have to remember is that on CNN civilians came up to Anderson Cooper and told him. It is not like he heard it from a primary source, it was a secondary source. The ‘testimony,’ so to speak, would not even hold in a court of law.

    I can not really blame the media 100 % on this issue, we are also to blame. The media did not think twice about printing this. Because, what is something better to wake up to in the morning? I realize it was wrong, but you have to remember they are a business at the end of the day. By the way can some one name the last national front page headline that the news media was ‘sure of’ and did not get the story straight on?

    (Could it be the 1948 presidential election? Two massive screw ups in 56 years, man the media is really to blame.)
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHarry S Truman
    The media dropped the ball on this one…

    It has been a long time since I last took one’s word as truth. Before Sago, the many events of my life and of my lifetime have led me to the conclusion that you must always be skeptical. That hasn’t changed much, but when I think of Sago I try to keep in mind that the people behind the story had good intentions.

    Don’t get me wrong, they made a big mistake, but I would question one’s honesty and motives more if he never made any mistakes in life. You talked about the need for accuracy and relevance, into days fast paced world you are right. They are as important as ever because of the many recent stresses that all of us are facing, but we need to remember that the person behind the media is human.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRon Lyle’s Revenge
    The Sago mine disaster is an example of an old children’s story entitled “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The moral of the story is “slow and steady wins the race”. In the case of the Sago disaster, the race had no winner. The media hype surrounding the story caused information that was not factual to be published prematurely, causing false hope for many of the families and close friends of those trapped in the mine. Had the media taken the time to make sure the information was correct before releasing it to the public, they would have taken the slower route, but undoubtably received more respect from the people. When writing an article, one should always, always make sure to have more than one draft. If a student turned in the first draft of a research paper for English class, they would probably receive a letter grade lower than an A.

    In today’s society media does not worry enough about the things that really matter such as accuracy. Instead, many worry about getting the “quick fix” so they can make more money by having the first article out on the newsstand. Tabloids are a perfect example of information published daily that is inaccurate. Instead of factual articles, speculations are made from gossip, and rumors are published. The Sago mine disaster is no different.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBosox
    In this day and age the media’s main concern is speed rather than accuracy. They all would rather be the first to come out with the “breaking news” rather than the correct news. It often times becomes a contest to them in a sense. These news outlets don’t think about the many people’s emotions they are playing with. They are just thinking about how great it would be to be the first to come out with the “breaking news”. I do agree that in this world people want answers now and expect results now, but the media also has the power to slow that down. If they begin worrying about the most accurate information and not the fastest information, maybe people will realize that we can slow down. Why can’t one of these media outlets be the first to do that?
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMarchMadness4
    In a situation like this one, I try to put myself in the shoes of the journalists, but also in the shoes of the family and friends of the victims. Either way, it seems like reliable, accurate information is what I would want published. Although it is important to get a story fast, it should also be important to get a story right before making any publications. I am not a journalist, so I am not sure what duties are required in their position, but I AM someone who expects to turn on the news and be able to trust what is being said.

    Maybe there was some miscommunication going on, but that still doesn’t seem like a relevant excuse for the incorrect news. If there isn’t any evidence to back up the information, then it’s pretty much just groundless assumptions. I understand that journalists have priorities, but if I were a journalist in this situation, I wouldn’t want to risk the chance of passing along news that I wasn’t sure about. So I think that accuracy should be a high priority when reporting the news.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterH to the S
    When news broke out about the Sago mine explosion, hundreds of media, reporters, and photographers were immediately at the scene of the disaster to get the latest breaking news. We live in an age where technology is a major part of everyday life, and with technology on the rise we are able to get the news much faster than in previous years. I would agree that the media’s number one priority is to get the most recent news to the public as fast as possible even if it is not always 100% accurate as in the Sago mine tragedy. This is a good example of the media not doing their job properly. They failed their responsibility to the public which is to report accurate news; maybe it was pure laziness that caused them to present inaccurate information.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermm2000
    in my opinion about the sago coverage, it was a delecate issue; in the one hand the reporters wanted to be the first to get the story no matter what, and they also wanted to be optimstic. i think news must be accurate and must be fast, but sometimes acurate and fast can lead to untruthfull information like sago. i think that we, the public, have forced the media to report in such a speed.i think our demand for speed have caused the media to report just anything and call it breaking new, such as the whale in london. when it comes to life or death of relatives, brothers in a coal mine or anything like that, i think the media reporters should wait a little longer to get the right thing so we, the public, will not backfire on them since these kind of stories touch every bit of our hearts.i also think that the media should focus more on the truth of the reports and not on cluttering us with unimportant information.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermaster6898
    It’s ashame how sensational journalism has become. I believe we should go back to the time when journalists prided themselves on the accuracy of the topic they are reporting. But as everything in this world is speeding up, so must media. Many stations feel the constant pressure to compete with each other with who can get the news out faster. It should really be a new competition about who can get the most accurate news, when it’s still relevent. Like the article said, the masses want to hear accuracy. They don’t care much for false facts coming in at the speed of light. And isn’t the media supposed to be serving it’s audience?
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertoe987
    The media is out to make big money, and to have the fastest news coverage is a great asset. People tune in quickly to watch the breaking news. When the customers want fast news, that is what the media will provide. With all the new technology available, news is delivered extremely fast. There is no room for error by the media. Many times a company will take a chance in delivering information to the public fast, even though it may be inaccurate. The media needs to take a step back in my opinion. They need to use ethics and realize how they impact people’s lives. After the Sago incident people have become aware of the inaccuracy of the media, so the media will try to provide accurate information again, until people forget about the incident. It is important for us to continue to demand accurate coverage if we do not want to see this happen again.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTag6746
    The Sago mine tragedy was an unfortunate accident. The press releasing the false news to the public was a slap in the face to those that had already lost so much. I can’t even begin to imagine how the families of those miners must have felt. I understand that people need to get news fast, but I think the press has taken too far. Accuracy is so much more important. They gave these people so much hope only to take it back and leave there emotions lower than they were the first time they heard of the miners’ death. They need to realize that the news they give out has a huge effect on people’s lives and accurate news, though it isn’t always what we want to hear, is so much better than how quickly we get the news.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBirdman7
    The media has lost what the real meaning of journalism is. The accuracy is gone, and just like everything in the world today faster is better. Also the importance of the news has almost become a joke. It seems like the smallest things these days are breaking news. The media seems like they only care about their ratings and not the news. The Sago Mine tragedy is a great example at how the media doesn’t care completely about the facts. I’m sure they thought they had their facts, but they need to be 100% certain. Plus they need to consider about the people it would be affecting. The false hope they gave people because everyone thinks the media or news it correct. The media needs to get back to what journalism really is.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterYoung10
    The media don’t know what it means to be called a journalist anymore. In today’s world everything is based and speed not accuracy. The author is right that no editor is going round asking its journalist
    “Well is this proven yet?”
    Its all about speed and not accuracy. Ratings are what the television bosses need and they need to grab our attention and exaggerate stories or make them up. We the people are the ones who suffer. I’m from Europe where the news is a lot more informative. To me from the outside Fox news looks like a show rather then a news programme. They have their terror alert system and as the author points out this so called
    “Breaking news”
    It seems to me that every time you turn on a news channel you see breaking news. In light of the mining disaster it makes your wonder how much is checked and verified. Its worrying that in the 21st century we cant trust our news. The way to fix this is that people need to be held accountable or what they tell us.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJclusk1
    The Sago mine tragedy has opened our minds on how we view and listen to the media today. This tragedy is a prime example on how journalists jumped at the chance to publish their story without actually confirming all the facts involving the miners. On January 4, newspapers across the country had major headlines reading “12 Are ALIVE” without getting confirmation from the officials handling the tragedy. Many executives at newspapers had to reevaluate their stories and correct their newspapers in the next edition. This makes the general public have second thoughts on what is being published in newspapers. Journalism should not always be about getting the first story but making the story as accurate as possible. The public will now have to always question what is accurate and inaccurate in every headline or story today.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTennis04
    I believe that this tragedy has allowed many people in the world to open their eyes to the real world of journalism and the news media. An incident like this just goes to show you that the media has false information and now may leave you to wonder if what is being stated is completely true or not. To have a miracle like this be reported through television and newspapers making family members, friends, and others believe that people were safe and unharmed lifted them up. However, it was only a short while later they were informed that the information realted back to them was completely false. The media needs to be able to take in the fact that correct news is better to wait for than to hear something fast and false. It is understandable that people like to know what is going on as fast as possible, but when it is something that is not correct, it better to have waited for the right information rather than having their hopes put up and then shot down twice as hard. It is important for journalists to make sure they have correct information before relating it to the world.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertenizgal23
    I agree with the idea that all news presented to the public should be completely accurate. The Sago Disaster was one of many examples of how disastrous incorrect information could be. I would think that the family members connected to the miners wanted information as soon as possible. I think the officials should have been more forthcoming with presenting information as it was available to at least the families. I am a large proponent of authority figures presenting information when it becomes available and not waiting for when they feel the public needs to know. I do not believe that they should be able to make this decision. I would also agree that the reporters should have only reported confirmed information.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStix
    Journalism’s purpose, at it’s root, is to provide global citizens with accurate and up-to-date information. This mantra, in theory, is the primary goal of the world-wide network of news media.
    In recent years, however,technology has delivered to the masses the luxury of time. Travel that once took months, now only takes five hours via jet. Stopping to take the time and use a pay-phone has become obselete; college students everywhere seem to have cell phones permanently glued to their ears. We no longer want to sit down for dinner at a nice restaurant. (There is a reason fast-food franchises have boomed in the last ten years.)
    Even great technological advances, such as the internet, have suffered from the demand for time. No high-speed internet? You might as well be living in the stone ages.
    News, as evident in the Sago disaster, has also been gravely affected by the incessant human greed for the fast and the furious. The majority of American citizens get their primary source of news information straight from TV. Newspapers have become a secondary source to gain in-depth information on the most interesting stories.
    For many networks, and newspapers, it has become a matter of getting the story for the sake of having the story or getting the story to scoop competitors.Somewhere along the way the primary goal of reporting, truth, has fallen through the cracks.
    While the ultimate responsibility must come to rest on the shoulders of the mass media, the public must also question its role in the tragedy. We must ask our selves which is more important: emphasis on truth or emphasis on time? If latter becomes the more prevalent, what happens to the value of news?
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTruth101

    The news media used to be a reliable way for the public to hear what was going on in the world. The stories used to be accurate, relevant and well covered, but lately the media has not done their job. The media’s responsibility is to report the truth to the public, but lately competition has changed the way the media works. The goal is no longer to inform the public, but to see who can get the story out the fastest. Getting the news in a timely fashion is important, but getting the facts straight should be the main priority. The Sago mine disaster is a perfect example of how the media would rather be the first to deliver the story than for the story to be accurate. The miners’ families were probably so relieved to hear that they were safe, but later had to mourn the death of their loved ones because the media failed to report the truth. The public needs to be aware that the news media feels comfortable reporting false information and that you cannot believe everything you hear.

    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdmg1004
    Through out the years, news channels have been geared toward fast news rather than sharp and accurate news. With many recent tragedies including 911, War in Iraq, coal mine explosion, and recent hurricanes, it seems that news channels compete on the basis of speed and film footage rather than accurate reporting. I also tend to hear from reporters, “You heard it first…”, rather than “you heard it correct…”. I do believe that a new category for the Pulitzer Prize should be awarded for the most accurate news, but I do not believe this would help journalist be more cautious about reporting the wrong news.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJROCK3
    I believe that when it comes to life and death issues, the news needs to be more aware of their audiences. It is a shame that everyone was mislead and families were made more hopeful. It shocks me that of all the newspapers, magazines, etc., only one was wise enough to wait and get the facts. Isn’t that what news should be about, accuracy?

    Sure, in a reporting office all you hear is, “deadline, deadline, deadline.” Though, what happens when one meets the deadline, and all news is bogus? I guess we can take the Sago disaster as a prime example: families are let down, faith is put on the line, and the once mended hearts are then shattered again.

    So, of all things, I believe that we should keep society in mind. The only reason there is a media is because of the public. So why disappoint them?
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkris87
    The media is just not as reliable as it should be. This is one of the reasons that I do not like to watch the news. If the media doesn’t have any facts to back up the rumors they are hearing, they should not say anything. The most aggravating thing about it is that the media would rather be the first one delivering breaking news that they are not sure of than delivering news that is definitely correct. We should be able to trust in what the media has to say, but we can’t. It is obvious that their only interest is to increase their ratings.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterblur27
    If the purpose of a fireman is to put out a fire, than the purpose of a journalist is too extinguish rumor, put out lies and above all carry yourself in an ethical manner. Or is it? Are we really in such an age that the true meaning of something can simply be pushed aside and ignored just as long as you are the first? When it is hard enough to validate varying perspectives on varying subjects anyways, the responsibility should be placed even more on the larger outlets of mass media. The factual errors represented by the major news press’ showed more lack of character than the over zealous reporters. Who were asking the children of the deceased miners what they thought they would see at the mine entrance prior to finding out they hadn’t survived. Even though my own opinion does not carry much weight, I find that being a 19 year old male have not once in my life ever respected the media juggernaut. So who cares what news is correct and which is incorrect, as long as I get it first.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKeyLime06
    After hearing of the tragedy of the Sago mind, my heart pounded waiting anxiously to find out if the miners survived. A fewer hours later, wonderful news passed. I never second guess the media from the time they announced the miners had survived. Who would? We, as the public trust the media, a little too much, obviously.

    Often we find information from news centers, either through television, radio, or internet, rather quickly and immediately as an event occurs. Although the public enjoys timely and rapid reporting, they also trust that the news being reported is nothing but the truth.

    This tragedy has touched many world wide, but my heart goes to the ones personally involved. I can not imagine the pain they have and will have to suffer.

    The media has a lot of apologizing, trust finding, and making up to do, and I think they should keep in mine the accuracy of news reporting instead of racing to be the first to state the facts, or well, lies.

    I feel this recent tragedy has opened up eyes to many people who have faith in the media.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentervirgo84
    It was absolutely wrong and in poor taste for the media to report false information. The Sago mine disaster has shown just how devastating that can be; especially to the family and friends of those brave miners. I also agree with those of you who said that accuracy is a necessity in the business world. However, I feel the problem doesn’t lie as much with the media as it does with the media’s audience. The media is like most businesses, a competitive one. It’s a competitive business in a competitive world. Second place is the first place loser. Of course we all want accurate news. But who is really going to read an article in one news paper, and then look up that article in another news paper just to read the same story again? I’m not saying what the media did in the Sago mine disaster was right. I simply think it’s unfair to blame them entirely.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermg28
    The Sago tragedy is just another major screw up in the news these days. Everyone wants to be the first to break a story now because they want the viewers. The reporters don’t seem to care anymore about if the story is necessarily right or not, they just want to be the first to break it. The faster they break it, the more inclined people will be to watch.
    A little after the reading the article I remembered a story from my childhood that really relates to how it is these days. That story is The Tortoise and the Hare. Everyone loved the Hare (the news), and he was beating the Tortoise handily so he took a break. While the Hare was sleeping the Tortoise (the truth) continued going and eventually won, even though the Hare woke up and tried recover. The news can’t recover from the mistake they made, just as the Hare couldn’t. Looks like no matter how old we are, or how big of a company we are, we can always learn from the story.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlosdog
    The media, including broadcast journalists and reporters, are trained to deliver the latest and most captivating news stories to the public. Furthermore, the main objective of the media is to utilize their resources and data in order to present their material as quickly and efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, as pertinent as the news media is to keeping us informed and up to date with the rest of society, there are several flaws that it has not acknowledged within its communication process. The different broadcast companies are so focused on being the first to report any type of breaking news that they tend to overlook the little things that make a story so real, the facts. The latest instance was the Sago disaster. There were confirmed reports that all but one of the thirteen miners survived. However, none of the reporters bothered to gather all of the facts before releasing this information and giving the family and friends of the miners false hope under false pretenses. Sadly, after all of the excitement and joy was released, the media reported that there was some miscommunication and that only one of the miners actually survived. All of the confusion and heartache could have been avoided had the media proceeded in a professional and sensible manner. Instead of trying to compete for ratings, the news media should learn that their number one priority is to gather and reveal the whole story and all of its facts to the public audience in order to fulfill their responsibilities as honest journalists because communication is the key to surviving life.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergossip17
    The American life is all about how to do things faster and better, weather that means that the truth will be portrayed or not. The mining incident in Virginia is a prime example of this. The news teams were so focused on being the first to get the story out and didn’t double check if they had the right story or not to share with the American people. When things like this go on it is only natural for the rest of the world to then start doubting other news. Take the War in Iraq for example. If a local story in the United States is not being portrayed correctly, we can only imagine if stories about the war are accurate. How are we supposed to know when the truth is being told or if “bad news” is being released?
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterktbug4442
    The news coverage of the Sago Mine tragedy was very poorly thought out. At no point did any of the new reporters, who falsely reported that only one of the miners had died, think about how these families would feel when they heard this news. Hours later the truth must have been devastating to these families. These news reporters jumped on the first bit of information totally disregarding the accuracy of the source of their information. They did not use any of the facts that were presented to them, instead reported false informaton thinking they had a story. All they did was give the families and friends of these miners false hope that there was a chance of survival. Instead of trying to be the first reporter to report a story, reporters need to wait until there are definite, truthful facts, since thats what news is.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDavid86
    Communication in the form of news reports was created to inform people of important events or out of the ordinary happenings. I agree that accuracy should be of utmost concern to journalists when writing stories that will be distributed to the public, especially those sources that are considered respectable and reliable. While there is often competition to be the first to announce the “big stories”, it is counterproductive to announce unconfirmed news that could be upsetting the public and potentially damaging to the reputation of the news provider. It is unfortunate that many people feel the news should be filled with exciting information because it puts pressure on the new provider to always be entertaining when it is actually supposed to inform the public of factual information.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBELLALUNA

    I don’t think an award for accurate news reporting is necessary. Seeing as an accurate message should be the main focus of every news medium an award seems belittle that. As a hypothetical situation: The Advocate receives this Pulitzer Prize for something they should have been doing anyway (reporting accurately). While the rival newspaper company didn’t accurately report, therefore didn’t get the award. What I am trying to say is that we shouldn’t applaud work that should have been done in the first place. Well now let be the first to say nothing makes me angrier than to watch interviewers with a microphone shoved in someone’s face as they are barking questions at them. These reporters have battles back and forth trying to ask the most tasteless questions, not worried about who they offend. In the wake of many tragedies we have seen the media blow stories out of proportion, reporting inaccurate information that causes hysteria. Now without this being a personal action on the media let me say that I realize there are some of reporters who still have accuracy as their priority.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Vercetti
    Firstly I want to say over the past 5 years there has been event after event worthy of being called “groundbreaking” news, with the 9/11 incident, tsunami, recent hurricanes (Louisiana and Florida) and the Sago tragedy, the subway bombing in England. Realistically there is no way that one could gather 100 percent factual information in these cases for weeks and in most of these cases months. What the main thing is that the public get a feel for what is going on in the world while it is going on. If journalist would have waited to get all the facts for lets say….9/11 the public would have felt robbed and would have been infuriated that something of that magnitude could occur in our on backyard and we know nothing about it until days later. I mean it is called news right? Keyword being new. Now I do sympathize for those given false hope in the West Virginia disater, however that first report of the occurance gave them a sense of their loved one is in trouble, now they can act on it, what ever they may do. People say the get upset if they are given false information but how will they feel if they were given no information until day, weeks or months later??
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDevils Advocate
    The battle between news stations and newspapers to have the most interesting stories, to have the highest ratings, or to report breaking news the fastest is completely out of hand. Just like everything else in our media saturated society, even news has turned into entertainment and a race to capture the most attention. It is truly a shame that the public cannot even rely on news to get hard facts about what is happening around the world. The Sago mine disaster was a perfect example. A somewhat simple yet very important story was presented before all the facts were obtained causing the major concern of the story to be distorted. This is obviously a problem that could be fixed with just a little time and effort. I agree with Mr. Philip Graham, it is vital that the “first draft of history” be reported with accuracy and factual information. In our fast paced world where anything that is faster is better and technology is constantly outdating itself, the news should be one thing that people can always count on to be true. Unfortunately, as we can see with the Sago mine disaster, that accountability has been lost.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterhepburn21
    Competition has been a part of the human race forever. A prime example of this is the Scott Peterson trial. It would never have been a big deal if one network had not of covered it. Obviously, every major network had to cover it because one of their rivals did.

    It takes a mistake before someone realizes how tragic it can be to make these mistakes. After the Gore-Bush debacle, no one will ever call an election until it is officially over. I believe certain newspapers will now be sure to look for accuracy first. The wrath that follows a mistake far more outweighs the award of having the 1st story.

    While money will still control whether accuracy prevails in news stories over the urgency of getting the story out first, I think most news giants will take a look at the story a little longer before sending it out.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDoe John
    Accuracy is very important in the communication field because the world rely on the information provided by the reporter. In the case of the Sago mine disaster is the perfect example of very bad communication, I think is a lack of professionalism the fact that reporters instead of accuracy want the information faster. It almost seems that is more important how fast the information is delivered instead of the level of truth the information contains. Especially in a case like this, when the subject is so delicate, the information delivered should be nothing but the true like it is state in the article above.
    Like David D. Perlmutter said in the article, I agree that it was not entirely the media’s fault since they did not create the rumor that the miners were alive but I also think that it is their job to confirmed all the information they received.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDEA2505
    I agree completely that it seems like the media has lost its original focus. Newspapers, radio reports, and televised news shows are supposed to report accurate news to the public. Now, with media giants pumping story after story onto the public, the focus seems to be on “sensationalism.” What happened after the Sago mine disaster is disheartening; accuracy should be more important than speed. What I have found over the past few years, especially during this last hurricane season, is that media agencies are not concerned about news; they are concerned about ratings. The only organization that seems to be exempt from this ratings craze is NPR. This could stem from the fact that they are a member supported station which is not concerned about turning a profit every quarter.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPandora
    I have realized that I do not watch the news like I used to at home. My mom was an avid FOX News watcher, which in turn, made me watch also. Now that I am on my own, I only watch TV when there is a show coming on that I like. So I had no idea about the situation occurring in the Sago mine in West Virginia until I heard from my boyfriend’s mom that the miners were safe. When I woke up the next morning, the headline was that they were actually dead. I was shocked. I was appalled that the story could be so wrong. I just could not believe that the families of the miners thought they were alive and it turns out that there was a “misunderstanding” and that they were really dead. How could the media get it so wrong? In my opinion, it is definitely more important to have a correct story that takes a little longer, than a wrong story that is fast. Accuracy is everything and it should always be the number one goal for reporters. I think that their integrity as journalists depend on it. I understand that it is important to have breaking news for ratings and sponsorships, but accuracy should be the priority no matter what.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbette davis eyes
    If one was in an English class they would not turn in their rough draft as their final piece of work, why do journalists feel that this guideline/rule does not apply to them. Accuracy is traded for being the first to report the “breaking news.” For example: at the end of the Martha Stewart trial reporters rushed outside holding up signs or giving secret signals (like a third base coach on a baseball team) just so they can be the first station to report the “breaking news.” Then the reporters fumbled through the verdicts often giving the wrong results because they were rushing instead of accurately reporting. In this instance it was quite humorous to see these people make fools of themselves, but in the Sago Mine disaster it is inexcusable. Just imagine one of the miner’s families given false hope to later only discover tragedy. Maybe because of this journalistic disaster journalist will now take a step back and use the common sense learned in any English class, and they will proofread and check their rough draft, which is their information or the gossip they hear, before turning in their final piece of work where thousands if not millions of people will see or hear. Lets for one time in society slow down and go back to the old days where the truth was more important than the message.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercar ramrod

    Accuracy should be the primary focus of a news provider rather than being the first to show it. This act is a direct shot at destroying the reputation of a news organization. I do realize that being the first can be an important thing when trying to boost ratings or gather more readers, but that is all undermined when news is brought with many errors that could have been avoided. All sources should be checked and rechecked for their reliability and also that they are accurate and precise. It is a shame that many people are forced to rely on faulty information.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBoSox34
    The fact that the media reported the miners were being rescued is appalling. In my college experience one thing I have learned is trace the money and you can find the reasoning behind many decisions. So what does the media do? They get high ratings by delivering a breaking story. In the television world high ratings mean more money. In this case, which is becoming a pattern of impromptu journalism, the media completely ignored their ethical standards for higher ratings. They thought that it was more important to be the first to get the story out and they were in such a rush that the story was completely incorrect and based on rumors at best. Can you imagine how the families of the miners felt when they found out the truth? In my opinion these things should never happen and there is no reason for it. Just report what you know, not what you think is happening.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHomer
    The Sago mine tragedy exemplifies the need that the public has for accurate journalism.The mere idea that a publication or news room would not be giving its audience totally accurate information does not cross the minds of most individuals. I know that I was naive at one point. The public wants to believe that the media, particularly news sources, are on their side and that their one goal is to provide accurate updates on current situations. This, though, as we have seen here is not the case. Now, these news providers whom we wish to trust, are only out for ratings. it all boils down to, like everything else in life, the royal dollar. I believe that giving some sort of award to the news provider that strives to give it’s audience the most informative and accurate information would be a great incentive for those companies to bring media back to its roots.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertaco43
    On one hand I can say I understand how the media must get information out to the public as soon as possible. Getting the news out immediately is their job and getting it out before other companies is how they make their money. However, just like in any business you need to also do what’s morally correct. Maybe in some minor cases sending out false news can just be thought of as a mistake, but other times such as the Sago mine disaster it can be devastating. There is no way the media should have come out with the news of the surviving miners just from some gossip they thought they heard from a phone call. I know the public wants to hear about some breaking news as soon as it happens, but it should never be released to the public until it is without a doubt the truth. Sometimes things do happen such as 9/11 that ne

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