Notes on the news, Twitter and public hunger for accuracy
There was a lot of bad.
The bombings — tragic.
A city gripped by fearful uncertainty — terrible.
News media spewing inaccurate information — beyond disappointing.
Among those valuable takeaways, it’s important to highlight news consumers’ reactions to media blunders.
More than ever, they’re not having it.
That’s my unscientific observation. In my year with SPJ, I’ve monitored the social media reactions to the SCOTUS ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., damage caused by superstorm Sandy, the Newtown, Conn., school shooting and now the Boston Marathon bombings and the manhunt that followed. (There was the U.S. Presidential election, but that went smoothly. Did I miss anything? Probably.)
As big breaking-news events occurred, news consumers became increasingly intolerant of inaccurate reporting. Via Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, they ask for verification and urge news deliverers to exercise patience and ethical judgements.
Setting aside the inaccuracies churned out on those same platforms, it’s wonderful to see a hunger for quality journalism. Plenty of journalists got it right, but the ones that didn’t must take note of their audiences’ reactions. People want — they demand — informative, accurate reports.
Give the people what they want.
FYI, the SPJ Code of Ethics is a great reference » http://spj.org/ethicscode.asp
Christine DiGangi is the communications coordinator at SPJ headquarters. She graduated from DePauw University and has worked in journalism and communications. Connect with Christine through email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Twitter,@cdigang.