« | »

News Media Got Most Of Shooting Facts Wrong

From an unfazed Associated Press:

As Shooting Story Unfolds, Media Struggle With Facts

December 15, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — The scope and senselessness of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting challenged television journalists’ ability to do much more than lend, or impose, their presence on the scene.

Pressed with the awful urgency of the story, TV, along with other media, fell prey to reporting “facts” that were often in conflict or wrong.

What an amazing admission from the AP. Though this seems to happen every time there is dramatic breaking news.

How many people were killed? Which Lanza brother was the shooter: Adam or Ryan? Was their mother, who was among the slain, a teacher at the school?

Like the rest of the news media, television outlets were faced with intense competitive pressures and an audience ravenous for details in an age when the best-available information was seldom as reliable as the networks’ high-tech delivery systems…

Notice how AP blames ‘competitive pressure’ and ‘high-tech delivery systems.’ There is no mention of the lack of basic journalism. Such as having two sources for a report.

It’s never the news media’s fault when they get so much so wrong.

[A]s facts were gathered by authorities, then shared with reporters (often on background), a seemingly higher-than-usual number of points failed to pan out:

— The number of dead was initially reported as anywhere from the high teens to nearly 30. The final count was established Friday afternoon: 20 children and six adults, as well as Lanza’s mother and the shooter himself.

— For hours on Friday, the shooter was identified as Ryan Lanza, with his age alternatively reported as 24 or 20. The confusion seemed partly explainable when it was determined that 20-year-old Adam Lanza, the shooter who had then killed himself, was carrying identification belonging to his 24-year-old brother…

— Initial reports differed as to whether Lanza’s mother, Nancy, was shot at the school, where she was said to be a teacher, or at the home she shared with Adam Lanza. By Friday afternoon, it was determined that she had been shot at their home.

Then doubts arose about whether Nancy Lanza had any link to Sandy Hook Elementary. At least one parent said she was a substitute teacher, but by early Saturday, an official said investigators had been unable to establish any connection with the school…

— Lanza’s weapons were listed as two pistols (a Glock and a Sig Sauer) as well as a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, but whether that rifle was used in the school or left in the trunk of Lanza’s car remained unclear.

Apparently, the latest thinking is that the rifle was left in the trunk. But don’t worry. Whatever the details, "assault weapons" will be blamed.

— There were numerous versions of what Lanza was wearing, including camouflage attire and black paramilitary garb.

The AP neglects to mention several other false reports from the mainstream media. Including the so-called second shooter. Or that the father had been found shot to death.

In fact, the news media gets most of what they report wrong, when it comes to breaking news. And yet they get a pass, time after time. But if talk radio or even conservative bloggers get the slightest details wrong, they catch holy hell for it.

So why are they held to a much higher standard than our media guardians?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, December 17th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “News Media Got Most Of Shooting Facts Wrong”

  1. GetBackJack

    Boy, if Ryan Lanza doesn’t sue the media into bankruptcy then I know the Courts are fixed

  2. captstubby

    newspaper editor during the Civil War;
    “you supply the blood, we supply the ink.”

  3. yadayada

    “intense competitive pressures and an audience ravenous for details”

    all the excuses are bull$#!t
    there is no pressure to get incorrect info.
    only self imposed pressure to be the first ones on air (preferably on-scene) with a running mouth –regardless of facts

    the audience isn’t ravenous for deails. they only want correct info and accurate facts

  4. Doowleb

    “News Media Got Most Of Shooting Facts Wrong”
    It’s understandable.
    If there’s one thing the media isn’t familiar with, it’s facts.


« Front Page | To Top
« | »