As discussed in class, not everything posted on the internet is completely true. This is certainly not shocking to anyone who has ever surfed the web, even for a brief time. Some articles posted just seem outright laughable. However, not all are as blatantly false as others are.
The Huffington Post was tricked by a source on twitter, claiming to be at the scene of a shooting. In reality, the man entitled “Jesus Christo” was not at the scene. The reporter on this article tweeted an apology for his mistake.
In another incident, and ESPN host was fooled when he heard that Kei Nishikori, a tennis player, was the highest paid player who makes $46 million a year. Other claims were made pertaining to all the things Nishikori owns, such as a soccer team and restaurant chain. All of these claims have been proven false. The statements made were gathered from satire site Media Mass and a fake magazine titled People with Money. ESPN host Chris Fowler tweeted out that he apologized for his error and was laughing at the mistake he had made by taking the information he received at face value.
In these situations, it is easy to state what you would do when looking back on what has already happened. If I were in either of these situations, I would make sure to thoroughly fact check each case to make sure there is some sense of reliability. In the first case, the name the man had should in and of itself be a key to lead to further investigation. It also shows that sometimes you should not interview the first eager person who wishes to speak to you. In the second case, the claim of the salary made is a bit absurd, at least to me. Considering it is rather common knowledge that Roger Federer is the highest paying tennis player in the world, due to his long term success and presence in the sport. Also, the salary claimed seemed extremely high to begin with. On top of it all, all the things the player allegedly owned seemed a bit extensive.
Bottom line- I would have fact checked a lot more than these two reporters did.
I would do this for the simple reason that it a basic duty of journalists. You are meant to inform the public of the truth, not some faulty lies that have been carelessly posted on the internet. Fact checking is not that difficult, and in the second case, even a quick Google search would have shown that the claims made were blatantly false.
We are meant to report the truth and make sure that what we write is as true as it can be.