Lessons of Balloon Boy to Journalists – What do you think?

Sure, the American public, the world and the aliens receiving our telecommunications signals 500 years from now are sick of Balloon Boy – but there’s a lesson here somewhere.

Let’s find it.

SPJ and Quill magazine are in need of your opinions on the subject: “What lessons, if any, have journalists and newsrooms learned from Balloon Boy?”

For the next issue of Quill – online and print – journalists of all stripes and media are encouraged to tell us how Balloon Boy – and other “quick to air breaking news” events such as the Sept. 11, 2009, Potomac incident – shaped your news coverage for the future.

Did you learn anything? Did your newsroom change any procedures? Did you become jaded or more skeptical? Did you change the lessons in the reporting class you teach?

There’s no right or wrong answer, just a multitude of opinions and outlooks from which we can all mutually benefit.

To submit: E-mail a one-to-three sentence answer with your name, title, outlet/organization for which you work and daytime contact information to Scott Leadingham. Responses will be confirmed, edited if necessary and possibly used in Quill.

Thanks in advance for your contribution.

Defending the First Amendment and promoting open government are more crucial now than ever. Join SPJ's fight for the public’s right to know — either as an SPJ Supporter or a professional, student or retired journalist.


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