Is it better to be first or right?

Social Media ReportingThe relative ease of posting something to a social media channel has turned all of us into “journalists.”  I intentionally put the word in quotes because journalist is a profession, with a code of ethics.  But thanks to smart phones and open-source blog services, anyone can become a “journalist” by simply hitting the submit button.
Over the past couple days this topic has been addressed in a variety of ways.  From the McKinney police officer story to the American Pharoah jockey exhibiting his excitement over his win with a couple swear words, the need to get news out fast has overtaken the requirement (IMHO) that news be accurate and appropriate.
At the time when we got our news from watching TV or reading the daily paper, mistakes still happened. And the editors would make a point of running a correction the next day.  But today, does anyone really go back and correct a Tweet or a Facebook post? And if you did, would it matter, considering it may have been reposted dozens of times before you realized it was wrong.
Mistakes happen.  But it is the deliberate rush to get something out there that has me so worried. I have created my own set of guidelines when it comes to reposting someone else’s information (can I verify it elsewhere, is it timely, is it my place).  If I can’t verify and feel good about it, I don’t do it.
How about you?

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at Jun 10, 2015

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