Media performance on Sandy Hook denounced, defended

Is it OK for press to have so many "facts" so wrong for so long?

December 17, 2012|By David Zurawik | The Baltimore Sun


We had a lively debate on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday about the media's performance in covering the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre that left 20 elementary school children dead.

There was some genuine disagreement, especially between me and former CNN Washington bureau chief Frank Sesno about what is acceptable and what isn't when it comes to verification and fact-checking in such breaking news coverage.

In a piece I wrote Friday, I said that I feared we would act like we didn't have time for such gut-check conversations in this let's-just-move-on era of instant media -- as badly as that dialogue is needed.

Thanks to host Howie Kurtz and fellow panelists Sesno, and Lauren Ashburn, editor of the Daily Download, for the opportunity to explore some of the many issues involved.

"Reliable Sources" was part of CNN's live rolling coverage Sunday. Check out the video above.

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