Member since Jun 21, 2010

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Re: “Atlanta students lead thousands in local protest over Ferguson

@Marc, CNN hasn't confirmed anything. Anytime a news outlet says there is a “source with detailed knowledge", yet does not disclose that source, it's an indication that an outlet doesn't have anything 100 percent credible, or 100 percent confirmed, and only have conjecture. It gives CNN enough cover to backtrack. Which nearly every outlet does when they don't list their sources.

You can track the media coverage of nearly every shooting, bombing, and unfolding event, and find the same pattern over and over again. CNN is only sharing that information in the hopes that if it is proven true, they can claim to be one of the first to break it. Which is why media outlets throw out dozens of theories. They are bound to land close to the truth eventually. When the story develops more, they can, for the most part, ignore the 30 erroneous ideas they and their media analysists have been throwing out. They don't quite pretend they got it wrong. They will posture that there was nothing misleading about offering half-formed theories. They were only reporting what they had as it came in after all.

This doesn't mean that the source is lying. It doesn't mean they're telling the truth, or even the whole truth, either. It's best to temper all guesses as to what happened until the investigation has cleared, and the information shootout between the media, police and the public has died down enough so that we start to get clarity and not continue to swim in confusion.

On the Media's Breaking News Guide covers this extremely well.

2. Don't trust anonymous sources.

Often, news outlets will cite "sources," or a "law enforcement official." "I think you need to be very careful," says Ian Fisher, assistant managing editor for digital operations at the New York Times. "[law enforcement official] could be anything from the FBI to a cop in a car. So you just don’t know and you shouldn’t really trust that."

5. Pay attention to the language the media uses.

Whether you realize it or not, the language the media uses tells you how reliable it is. Here's a helpful glossary:

"We are receiving reports" - sources are claiming something has happened, but it has not been confirmed.
"We are seeking confirmation" - the news outlet is confident, but still can't confirm.
"We can confirm" - information has come from multiple sources, and the news outlet feels confident that it can claim something as an actual fact.
"We have learned" - how a news outlet declares it has a scoop. As Andy Carvin says "on the one hand, it could mean that they’re the first ones to confirm something. Or they’re going out on a limb and reporting something that no one else has felt comfortable reporting yet."…

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by CharlesJudson on 08/22/2014 at 8:45 AM
Posted by CharlesJudson on 06/24/2010 at 10:54 AM

Re: “48 Hour Film Project: 'Let me know what you think'

Advance Tickets are $9 ($10 day of show) and you can find ticket links and screening groups at Be sure to come and vote for your favorite films.

Charles - Atlanta 48 Hour Film Project Producer

Posted by CharlesJudson on 06/21/2010 at 5:17 PM

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