Yesterday afternoon, devastating news of the death of actor Michael Clarke Duncan broke on Twitter. Given my background in journalism and my inability to quit it, I still follow several news outlets on Twitter – mainly CNN, NBC News, CBS News and the Associated Press. On my other account, I follow Fox News, ABC News, the Huffington Post and all of the aforementioned.
As a journalist, I have been conditioned to use discernment as it relates to the news. In most cases, you can tell when something has been reported or made up – if you read it and not just glance. The way I learned journalism was to make sure you’re right before you go forward with any information. While it matters who reports it first, it matters most who got it right – first.
Since we’ve been blessed with the wonderfully wonderful tool that is the internet, the journalism profession has been cursed by it. It seems young journalists have become satisfied with Tweeting (see also: Facebooking and Instagraming) the majority of their story and any Tom, Dick, Harvey or Perez fancies himself a journalist because he has a blog and an audience.
Yesterday when the news broke, by the AP if I’m not mistaken, I ReTweeted the AP’s information. I saw so many RTs with comment calling bullshit thinking that Twitter just up and killed someone for no reason. Some people wanted to know who the source was and who Duncan’s fiancée is (Rev. Omarosa Manigault). One fool even Tweeted:
Since when is the AP NOT the AP? I mean, CNN has gotten it wrong. CBS, wrong. NPR, wrong. ABC, NBC and damn sure Faux News. In my 10-year journalism career, I have never heard about the AP getting anything wrong. In fact, I am bold enough to say the Associated Press is the worlds MOST CREDIBLE news source, yet, that wasn’t good enough for Twitter.
This is what I like to call the TMZ era of journalism. It’s a time where people won’t believe actual news until it’s reported by TMZ or MediaTakeOut or Perez Hilton or whatever other gossip BLOG is masquerading as a news site. It’s really sad. There are way too many of my friends, colleagues and former counterparts out here busting their butts to bring folks well-reported and (hopefully) balanced stories for credible news outlets than to have their work and efforts bastardized by those sites.
Since I have been periodically offering you all my “expertise” in journalism, take this with you. When it comes to news of any kind, international, national, local, entertainment, sports, politics – rest assured knowing it has been properly reported and fact checked. To question the AP is … I don’t even know what it is. Just know that 9.9 times out of 10, they’re right. *smh*
“It’s one thing for people to THINK you’re stupid, it’s another when you open your mouth and remove ALL doubt.” (c) Mama Smarty