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2007-08-16 -Lurid Crime Tales-
62 Counts of Journalistic Mistakes and Media Screw Ups
H/T Instapundit

"Matt Drudge's role in the Monica Lewinski scandal] strikes me as a new and graphic power of the Internet to influence mainstream journalism. And I suspect that over the next couple of years that impact will grow to the point where it will damage journalism's ability to do its job professionally, to check out information before publication, to be mindful of the necessity to publish and broadcast reliable, substantiated information." -- Marvin Kalb in 1998

Scott Beauchamp was the last straw. I realized that I need a scorecard to keep track of all the fallen journalists, journalistic mistakes and major and minor screw-ups in the media. I couldn't find one already made, although Wikipedia came close, so I started my own. I apologize if there is a good list already out there, but I looked and could not find.

Offenses include lying and fabricating, doctoring photos, plagiarism, conflicts of interest, falling for hoaxes, and overt bias. Some are hilarious, such as an action figure doll being mistaken for a real soldier. Some are silly, such as reporting on a baseball game watched on TV. Some are more serious.

I leave it to you to judge whether the internet damaged "journalism's ability to do its job professionally", as Marvin Kalb accuses, or if the internet has in fact helped expose an already damaged "profession".

I doubt if my list is comprehensive, but I think it's a good start. So that I'm not accused of plagiarism myself, I would like to give credit to Wikipedia for many of the entries on this list. And all the information below can be found with a little internet searching; I just could not find it all in one place. I do give at least one source for each item, embedded in the text.
62 in the list at the site. He concludes:

I conclude with a few observations.

* These offenses have been going on for years, long before the internet. But there does seems to be a rise in the number of reported offenses in recent years. Did the number of offenses go up, or did the fraction of discovered offenses go up?
* In a good number of these cases, the errors were caught by non-journalists, sometimes communicating over the internet.
* If it is "too good to be true", or just too politically correct to be true, take it with a grain of salt - several grains, apparently, if from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, CNN or Reuters.
* The Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize just ain't all they're cracked up to be.
* If this is the visible part of the iceberg, just how big is the iceberg?

If I missed any, or if there is a better list out there, let me know.
Posted by Sherry 2007-08-16 16:56|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [10808 views ]  Top

#1 And he didn't even mention Sy Hersch, though he did include the Tailwind BS.
Posted by xbalanke 2007-08-16 23:40||   2007-08-16 23:40|| Front Page Top

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