The Need for Speed in Journalism

With the recent events during the Boston Marathon, something I noticed was extra caution with revealing information from most news stations. While my sister and I watched she kept asking me how nobody knew anything about what was going on and I tried to explain that reporters didn’t want to release any information without confirmation. My sister is a social media queen, the type of person who checks their social media feed before even getting out of bed or wiping the sleep out of her eye. But one thing I think social media is doing to our society is raising expectations for the rate that news flows.

People are expecting answers to tragedies like the bombings during the Boston Marathon within an hour or two. But most of our J schools are teaching to make sure facts are actually facts through confirmations. So there is a bit of a rift between the speed of news being released and the expectation of the public. My question is will the public ever understand that getting to the bottom of these things takes time or will journalists give in to the demand for answers and report information quicker with less of a certainty that the information is factual.

I think it will have to be the former and it will have to be the journalists and news broadcasts responsibility to explain why answers aren’t available as quickly as some would like. If not the public might get the best of the news stations and force them into reporting information without confirmations which is a another story and the consequences could be much worse than delaying the release of information by a few hours.

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