Immediacy in reporting has a price


The immediacy that consumes news reporting is beneficial to viewers and readers.

However, is it beneficial to the reputation of journalism?

Probably not. However, there is no other way to do it – except for the advance-prepared profiles such as death stories and obituaries.

Working in a rush maximizes mistakes — mistakes for which journalists are deeply criticized.

For example, three minor children filed a lawsuit in July against Fox News Channel.

Fox had accidentally broadcast their father’s suicide earlier that year. The children, ages 9, 13 and 15, claim the footage of their father’s suicide caused them to suffer emotional distress.

Their 32-year-old father had allegedly hijacked a car, so the high-speed chase was being streamed in real-time by Fox. However, when the man got out of the car to shoot himself, the cameras were still on him, broadcasting the tragedy.

According to the suit, there were rumors going around the children’s school that day that a man had committed suicide on TV and the video was circulating the Internet.

However, it was not until the children got home and watched the video that they realized they were watching their own father’s death.

Both Fox News and anchor Shepard Smith issued apologies for the broadcast, claiming its broadcast was the result of human error.

Perhaps these mistakes are something we can prevent by hiring more equipped journalists. However, it may just be a terminal flaw of journalism as a result of the pressure for immediacy.

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