Circling back around to Anonymous, the hacker group has gained more attention this week, but it’s not for hacking into sites or social media accounts.
According to the Huffington Post, the group is trying to start its own media outlet and is raising tens of thousands of dollars online to do so.
So far, the project called “Your Anon News” has raised $54,668 on Indiegogo, the HuffPost reports.
The group posted on its Indiegogo page that it hopes to engineer a new website to collect breaking reports and blog posts from the best independent reporters online. They also plan to provide feeds for citizen journalists who can livestream breaking events.
Finally, I wanted to talk about some of the mistakes and outlets who covered the Boston bombing and Friday’s manhunt.
The mistakes began on Wednesday when CNN and several other outlets, including The Associated Press, falsely reported that an arrest had been made. The New York Post was also criticized for its front page of two men with the headline “BAG MEN: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon.”
As journalists, our job is to educate people with facts that are necessary for their daily lives. Have we forgotten about educating our readers and become too focused on beating a competitor on social media? If so, I worry about this industry and its future.
Social media is very valuable and can be used in so many ways to crowd source information, ask for participation and deliver breaking news alerts.
My fear is that we’ve given into our fast-paced society and feel like we have to report something new, even if it doesn’t appear to be accurate.
I also worry about our readers. According to Scott Maier, a journalism professor at the University of Oregon who has researched reporting mistakes, the public is “pretty understanding” of errors as long as a news outlet owns up to them.
“The research shows that people who [are sources of] the news media know the media won’t get it all right all the time. There’s an expectation that when news is fast-breaking and unfolding that reporters won’t always have it right.
So why read breaking news at all if it’s not even expected to be correct? Do we do it for social currency? Are we so obsessed with one-upping a friend or neighbor on a subject, that we have to know what’s going on every second in a breaking situation?
Of course, there has to be a balance. Readers want information as quickly as they can get it, which means new outlets can’t wait to tell them in tomorrow’s newspaper. They have to step up to the digital plate and give them details in real time; however, doing so could mean giving them false information.
What’s the solution? I want to hear from you. Do you think the news industry moves too quickly on stories? Or do you think they’re still behind when it comes to online updates?
How can we prevent these types of mistakes in the future? Waiting 20 more minutes before posting to allow several editors to take a look? Verify reports through more than one source?
Share your thoughts on this in the comments below.