SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein • Looking back at what caused the mistaken reporting of the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act decision, in a minute-by-minute breakdown. In case you need something very epic to read, here you go — Goldstein’s post, which he claims is his first effort at “real journalism,” is 7,000 freaking words long. Or, you know, longer than the usual article we link. (ht Dave Weigel)
Andrea Reiher, Gotye dead? No, but unvetted CNN iReport sparks death hoax
I’m not dead. #Pinkalbumtitles— gotye (@gotye) July 1, 2012
Sydney Smith of iMediaEthics interviewed Matt Dornic, senior director of public relations for CNN Worldwide, regarding the hoax.
Dornic differentiated between CNN and iReport, which he called “essentially a social network for news” that anyone can post to. Dornic noted that with iReport posts, users submit posts, and CNN fact checks and “vets 20-30%” of the submissions.
Dornic added that the fake death story “is not an isolated incident” with iReport, and that “this type of stuff happens in a user-generated platform.” With iReport, “stuff comes up that’s incorrect and it’s partly up to our folks and partly up to the community to flag it,” he said.
“So the fact that it’s not available anymore shows to me that the community acts exactly how it’s supposed to,” Dornic said.
Dornic said he didn’t know iReport’s exact policies for posting corrections and editor’s notes, for which he said “I’m sure that there’s a best practices,” but “the fact that you’ve now contacted me, I’ll probably let the iReport community know” about the incident.
We also asked Dornic about any policy for banning users who hoax iReport. Dornic said iReport members who intentionally hoax iReport would be “pulled” from the network, but that “if it looks like an innocent mistake then that’s different.”
Here are a few takeaways from this incident.
Twitter has killed more celebrities than alcohol and drugs.
User-generated content from citizen journalism can be used as a source for raw reports but it must be thoroughly vetted, using various independent sources.
Citizen journalism and social media won’t replace professional journalism, which self-corrects.
People still run to mainstream media to get second opinion on stories that broke in social media.
False reports still spread faster and wider on Twitter than later corrections.
Don’t let the herd make your editorial decisions. You were hired specifically to serve as a filter to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Again, not CNN’s fault. Just someone trolling the news network’s citizen j system.— Jojo Pasion Malig (@JojoMalig) July 1, 2012
From All Things Digital:
“CNN: Minority of Web Users Shares Majority of News
Just 27 percent of social media users account for 87 percent of shared news, according to new research from CNN. The study, which was conducted over two months and tracked 2,300 people, looked at different motivations for sharing, as well methods and content. Not surprisingly, social networks accounted for almost half (43 percent) of shared news.”
Two words. Pareto principle.
As I explained at the old blog back in 2005:
“IN 1906, an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that ‘20 percent of the people owned 80 percent of the wealth.’
Pareto principle, suggested by management thinker Joseph M. Juran, has since been applied in many other fields.
In sales, it assumes that 20 percent of the customers generate 80 percent of the sales, or that 80 percent of merchandise comes from 20 percent of the vendors.’
The first assumption, I found out for myself during a brief stint at a marketing firm overseas. The principle roughly means that if you pitch a sales project to an x number of prospective clients, expect to sell your product to only 20% of the total number of customers you have talked to.
In productivity circles, 20 percent of the effort produces 80 percent of the work. In warehouses, 20 percent of the stock takes up 80 percent of the space.
And yes, even in journalism, with Poynter’s Chip Scanlan quoting Michael Gartner, the veteran editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer, who has asserted that ‘every job has its flaws.’
But as long as 80 percent of a job’s duties are acceptable, Gartner said he could tolerate the 20 percent that wasn’t.”
There you go.