Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sports Illustrated = Lawsuit in Waiting

It doesn't matter what the deadline is.   If there are major holes and questions about a story, don't publish, don't push, don't broadcast.

Manti Te'o tells a compelling story.   It's understandable a reporter would initially believe that this affable and talented college football player is telling the truth.   But to do any feature story, a reporter needs details.   There's a car accident.   That means there's an accident report with details, that means there are most likely pictures.   There's a young girl who has died.   That means there's an obituary.   This is the girlfriend of a famous college football player.   There are going to be lots of articles.   This young woman would have had lots of friends.

The reporter can't find any of this, and Sports Illustrated publishes?   If the sign says "BRIDGE OUT - DANGER - 1000 FOOT DROP AHEAD" Sports Illustrated editors would drive the bus into the gorge.

The headline in the Atlantic gets it right:

The Manti Te'o Dead-Girlfriend Hoax: Blame the Media

What editors approved this story?  What questions did they ask?  How does a piece with one red flag after another go forward?  Journalism requires verification.   If Sports Illustrated has forgotten that simple basic requirement of journalism, perhaps its editors should consider going to work for Roger Ailes.  Lots of so-called sports reporters did copy & paste of facts that weren't facts because nobody bothered to check.   Click here to read one of the exclusives Fox Sports did on the poor dead fictional girlfriend of Te'o when Fox Sports didn't realize the girl wasn't dead because the girl wasn't real.  

For all those organizations that did copy and paste instead of actual reporting  a word of caution:  you're a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Journalism requires verification.   In court, saying you copied and pasted from someone else won't work as a defense.


1 comment:

  1. Have you been harmed in an vehicle accident? Were you driving on a motorcycle when the accident lawyer incident occurred? If so, then you are likely looking for a motorcycle incident lawyer to help you get settlement


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.