As it says on page A2 of every issue of the paper you hold in your hands, “The Kokomo Tribune strives for 100 percent accuracy, but when we make a mistake, our policy is to correct it promptly.” We in the journalism game are only human.
This week, I present you the aftermath of a pair of recent public reporting misadventures, and one example of a publication standing by a perceived ethical blunder.
‘NEW HAMPSHIRE WAS LOST’
The July 9 episode of “NBC Nightly News” closed with a graphic of New Hampshire with the words “About last night…” placed next to anchor Brian Williams. “We showed a map when we were zooming in to correspondent Katy Turr’s live report,” said Williams. “But play that back and hold it, and you’ll see what a few of our sharp-eyed viewers saw, including at least one U.S. senator, New Hampshire is gone. Vanished. It apparently moved to Vermont and, then, New York took over a bunch of territory. Nobody knew it. Mea culpa and full disclosure: New Hampshire was lost by our graphics department. It has since been found and put back.”
Then, it went from good to great. “And this calls for a reminder of great things about New Hampshire. It’s got the best motto, ‘Live Free or Die.’ And it is the home of the first-in-the-nation primary. Its entire elected delegation is women: governor, two U.S. senators and members of Congress. And while they are all serious people, New Hampshire has also given us Seth Meyers and Sarah Silverman. And the inventor of Tupperware is from there. And paper towels were invented in New Hampshire.” Bravo!
‘WE HAVE NEW INFORMATION’
I’m not going to lie, this one hurt to watch. “We have new information … on the [Asiana] plane crash. KTVU has just learned the names of the four pilots who were on the flight,” read the anchor of the noon July 12 KTVU-TV Channel 2 newscast. Except, no, lady, you haven’t. You so haven’t.