When news breaks, we fix it

That was the old slogan of Jon Stewart's Daily Show. This morning, while I was in a meeting, my cell phone reported the following 'breaking news' from CNN:

"-- An explosion at a Connecticut power plant near Hartford has caused "mass casualties," authorities say."

Pretty scary. What was it? What's going on? Well it turns out, now, 6 hours later, that "at least 5" people died, and 12 injured. Still a serious accident but how can CNN justify that kind of sensational report sent out on their 'breaking news' text message?

I was talking this weekend to someone with a lot of experience as a journalist and he said, to my surprise, that news organizations don't even bother 'fact checking' stories now. Gone are the days I remember from 'All the President's Men' when every story had to be confirmed independently by one, maybe two other sources.

Posted on February 7, 2010 and filed under Life.