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Old June 29th, 2012, 03:08 PM
AR AR is offline
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Default Get it First, or Get it Right?

This morning I had something to say about paying attention to details (post #29 under "Homophones"). After I wrote it I was reading the paper and slogging through the articles on yesterday's Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.

There was a sidebar in the Washington Post noting that both CNN and Fox got the fundamental fact wrong in their initial reports. Both said that the individual mandate--the cornerstone of the law--had been struck down by the court. This, of course, was utterly inaccurate, and both organizations corrected their reporting within minutes.

CNN later apologized for the gaffe; Fox did not. Michael Clemente, executive vice-president for news at Fox said, "Our job is to share news as we learn it. . .As we were hearing it, and as we were reading it, we let our viewers know about it." And here's the good part. Clemente went on, "You don't have to wait until the conclusion of the Yankees game to give the score."

Those are the words of a fool. You don't have to be a journalism graduate to know that the first job is to get it right and the second job is to get it first.

Fox didn't get it right. They misreported the lead for what is probably one of the most important stories of the year. Each person can form an opinion about how much of the error was sloppy reporting and how much was wishful thinking. But the real felony happens when the boss says he doesn't care.

Having read the opinion, I can actually understand how reporters might have been misled by the opening words. All the more reason to dig deeper, to not shoot from the hip, to do a little work and read a few pages. But no, it's far more important to go to air with breathless abandon, and screw it up completely.

No, you don't have to wait until the end of the game to give the score. But you do have to know the score when you give it.

A true black eye.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 11:00 PM
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, "Our job is to share news as we learn it. . .As we were hearing it, and as we were reading it, we let our viewers know about it." .
Call me crazy but I miss the good old days when we didn't hear a story until it was researched and confirmed and basically "thought about".
Why does all the news have to be breaking? At least that's how it seems to be here in Orlando. Every station seems to salivate over being able to say "we brought it to you first". Last summer it was Casey Anthony ad nauseum and it looks like this summer will be the same with George Zimmerman. Oy.
Walter, Chet and David must be spinning.
Just my thoughts....
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Old June 29th, 2012, 11:14 PM
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Unhappy

I miss the old days when we used to get more facts and less senstionalism.

TM
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Old June 30th, 2012, 12:19 AM
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For three years I was a legislative analyst for the EDD in California. Since most health care bills included a employer paid tax to cover the costs. I read and did an in-dept analysis of these bill including the cost to the department to collect a new tax. I would read the Media articles and laugh many of the facts were incorrect. It was clear the "reporter" didn't read the language of the bill. Federal bills are difficult to read, because they or list the change in the code. So you need the code section and the bill in order to understand the changes. California bill include the whole code and do strike outs and italic show the changes. Much easier to read.

BTW I wrote legislative proposals for the department. One of my proposal made it into a larger state cost cutting bill and became law. So I wrote CUIC section 1755.1. It allows the state to serve a notice of levy to a bank by electronic means instead of by paper. This saves us time and mail costs. Time of staff stuffing envelopes and direct expenses for sending a levy certified mail. I also amended CUIC section 1755 to change service from certified mail to first class mail when we do serve by mail.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 06:42 PM
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I would read the Media articles and laugh many of the facts were incorrect.
I've always been frustrated by this. I've never been in a situation in which I knew the details of a story chapter and verse (because I was involved in some way) where I felt the news accounts "got it." They usually have most of the facts down reasonably well, but they're very poor at context and interpretation.

Still I wouldn't trade a free press for anything.

I can't believe that nobody has tried to rebut my unkind words about cable news and the Supreme Court ruling in the OP. I thought by now I'd at the very least be branded a Communist sympathizer.
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