Sunday, January 20, 2013

Where does it end?

Watching breaking sports news, including NFL coaching searches, play out over the last couple weeks on social media has been fascinating.

Journalists attempt to share news via their sources - in some cases perhaps too hurriedly.

A portion of the audience displays their disdain for sources, especially when tidbits turn out to be off-base.

Even worse, some of said audience pretend they have sources for news, and some journalists, in an attempt to be first, spread that word without checking whether what's being said is actually true. In the end, it causes an unfortunate ripple effect of undeserved viability for a bogus report.

There are journalists who bicker among one another over who had a story first and how the story was being reported - and frankly at times it's cringe worthy.

This is the age in which we live - at times a vicious circle.

Sometimes, I genuinely wonder what Hal Lebovitz would think of all this.

There is a value for instantaneous information of course - a coaching candidate is spotted at an airport, an athlete is involved in an incident in a nightclub and virtually anything in between. Granted, the sources for that information aren't always traditional journalists, and that's fine.

The problem is we seem to be losing at least some of the desire to ensure what's out there is accurate.

In this day and age, there are people who want to know, people who think they know and people who do know.

Any venture on social media during breaking news - sports or otherwise - makes something abundantly clear, at least to me: The moment we can stray from that middle ground of entrusting those who think they know, the better off we'll all be.

In short, maybe we all need to take a deep breath and consider being right before being first.

Unfortunately, that seems like a pipe dream anymore.

- Chris Lillstrung | @CLillstrungNH


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