Newsweek Pakistan Shows How To Start A Rumour

Nov 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: Newsweek Pakistan

Newsweek Pakistan shows us how easily media can start rumours. Following the resignation of Ambassador Husain Haqqani on Tuesday, Newsweek Pakistan posted the following on Twitter.

Screen shot 2011-11-22 Newsweek PakistanA few minutes later, Newsweek Pakistan posted again, clarifying that they were unable to verify the claims of their anonymous source.

Screen shot 2011-11-22 Newsweek Pakistan 2While it is good that Newsweek Pakistan clarified their report, it will make little difference as can easily be seen from the number of re-Tweets. At least 20 people spread the unverified rumour, while as few as 5 passed on the clarification. In what looks like a rush to get a ‘scoop’, Newsweek Pakistan may have started a wildfire of inaccurate information. At the very least, they have added to an environment of confusion.

Being the first to report a lie is far worse than being second to report a fact. It is much more important that news reports be correct than they be fast. Newsweek Pakistan needs to exercise restraint and only report items once they have been verified.

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  1. Scoops and quick reports like this are often a bunch of lies or mistakes. One sees that everywhere.

    Newsweek did say that one of its sources ‘claims’ that (etc.) … and I think that does cover it’s ‘tracks’.

    Your idea is perfect … but our own local TV does things as bad as this. I should think you’d write a letter like this every hour when you see it on the screen, no?

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