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Healthcare ruling and the media frenzy

June 28, 2012

I’m watching news media report the Supreme Court decision on healthcare.

I also watched CNN botch their initial reporting by saying that the Supreme Court had struck down the individual mandate.

I’m not sure how long they had that on television, but I’m sure it was long enough to make some viewers confused.

I immediately logged onto Twitter to see what everyone else was saying.

That’s where I found the correct answer.

I’m quite shocked because Twitter usually gets it wrong.

In CNN’s defense, I haven’t been able to check out what the other cable channels are saying because the television in the newsroom is on their channel.

However, I do remember most of my journalism professors at Emerson College were very concerned about the need for news organizations to be the first to announce news.

Now I see their concerns are legitimate. When CNN reports something incorrectly that’s huge.

With a decision as big as this one, I think the public can understand if reporters take their time trying to verify information.

I hope this serves as a reminder that we, as media, need to be certain of what we are saying.

Otherwise our credibility comes into question. And that’s not cool.

Also, I think The New York Times has got the right idea.

Their last update was, “The Supreme Court has ruled on President Obama’s health-care overhaul, and Times reporters and editors are analyzing the decision. Once we are comfortable with its basic meaning, you can expect a torrent of coverage.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Greg permalink
    June 28, 2012 11:23 am

    I think many news channels are too worried about ratings and trying to beat the other channels to the punch of releasing breaking news to care about the validity of what their saying at times. Whatever gets people watching (more money for them)

    • June 28, 2012 5:54 pm

      I agree. But, I’ve always thought CNN was best at balancing the need for ratings with the need for correct information.

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