I stand near the front of the line of people who think that the news and publishing business is perched on the edge of looming change that will undermine them as much (or more) than the recording and film industry have faced. This is hardly “news”.
But there is this ramping eagerness to be the “first” to report news, that it might be better to be first to report a story rather than the first to report a “good” (or even “correct”) story.
An isolated incident; ut of some weird curiosity, because I rarely rush to news stories, I noticed that Dean Shareski had retweeted a story that Tiger Woods was seriously injured in a car crash.
BULLETIN — REPORT: FAMED GOLFER TIGER WOODS SERIOUSLY INJURED AFTER CRASH NEAR FLORIDA HOME.
I am not a golf fan, but I was more curious about the account reporting this story, BreakingNews.
A story today on the gather site seems to be commending BreakingNews for being 45 minutes faster to report this story than CNN:
the question seems to be now, why did it take CNN 45 minutes to report three little lines when BNO News reported in almost immediately? Where did most people hear that Tiger Woods was okay? Twitter. Twitter will soon out trump many news reporters (and for some people already has) in real-time story reporting.
The problem is that most of this breaking news reporting was wrong, and wrong for hours. Tiger’s “seriously injured” turned out to be barely hurt at all, and the “crash near florida home” apparently involved his car hitting a fire hydrant as he was exiting his driveway.
Now a good chunk of this wrongness was due to bad information in the press releases from the state agencies.
But what is happening, si that “breaking news” is not confirmed news, not fact-checked news, and very well, as in this case, might be dead wrong.
There is no stopping this gold rush to be wrong with any rumor of a “trending” story, but I am going to consider that very likely most breaking news is broken. The bigger question is; how will we be able to confirm news stories anymore, since the reporting parties are no longer checking them.
I am in no way defending the old way of reporting news, as that has gone by the way side; I am wondering what emerges as the new form.
The post "Breaking News or Broken News?" was originally pulled from under moldy cheese at the back of the fridge at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2009/11/breaking-broken-news/) on November 28, 2009.