November 24, 2008 |
There’s a very funny story today that seems to prove to me that lack of fact checking and attention to details should not be discussed as a fault only bloggers should be accused of as it looks like even huge and reputable media organizations like CNN sometimes make mistakes that seem to be absolutely inappropriate – especially for them.
Yesterday some of you may have heard a story about alleged gunfire from South Ossetia directed at the motorcade carrying the Presidents of Georgia and Poland approaching the border between Georgia and South Ossetia. This event has been covered by quite a number of major news outlets, including CNN.
But CNN made an interesting mistake when putting the report on the event online and available for all the visitors of their website – the home page of the site carried a photo of the Poland president’s twin brother instead of the president himself illustrating the story of the Georgian incident. There’s no doubt it must be quite a challenge for anyone covering Polish politics having two brothers in the political establishment who are very difficult to distinguish with only one birth-mark on the left cheek to help.
This incident was reported yesterday by a Polish TV channel and is now a much-discussed issue for Russian media outlets. As I don’t speak Polish, I can’t offer any additional details to what I found on Russian sites but I can imagine the Polish TV channel was not particularly happy with CNN publishing a photo of their president’s brother instead of the president himself.
Anyway this post is only intended to focus on the much-discussed issue of fact checking and how bloggers are accused of lacking the skills required for reporting news. Naturally you’d expect a media giant like CNN to have sufficient resources not to make mistakes like this one and at least to have all the photos accompanied with the right names. Yet it looks like even CNN can make factual mistakes in certain cases – so maybe traditional media people should not continue blaming bloggers for being lazy and not putting enough efforts into fact checking – only mentioning it when we actually deserve?
Via (in Russian)