There was a news overload last week. Not just the record-shattering rainfall and subsequent flooding here, but the terror bombing in Boston and the deaths of dozens in West, Texas.
Times like this test those of us in the news business. Last week also highlighted big changes in the way we report and you receive breaking news. Social media play an ever-expanding role. But no matter the medium, one eternal truth reasserted itself: some "old media" news outlets proved reliable at key moments, others not so much. Was a suspect in Boston under arrest or not? Had one even been identified? How many suspects were there? But it wasn't an all-star week for "new media" either. Twitter proved to be mostly an echo chamber, with the observations of a handful of eyewitnesses to the Boston manhunt finding a larger audience only after the fact.
Then there was Reddit. It was on fire Thursday night and into the wee hours of Friday morning with various crowd sourcing correspondents triumphantly alleging the identity of a prime suspect and some pouring scorn on the "old media." for having missed the big scoop—except their "suspect" wasn't. It all reminded me, of the advice famously offered by an editor at the old Chicago City News Bureau: "If your mother says she loves you, kid, check it out!" New media, old media? I think people want accurate media.