The Unforgiving Internet
Editors as chumps and four lives ruined
Vol. 1 Issue #28
IN THE NEWS
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Kodee Kennings' story was pure gold. For nearly two years, the motherless 8-year-old spoke and wrote movingly of her struggle to deal with her soldier father being shipped off to fight in Iraq, and Southern Illinois University's student newspaper chronicled her thoughts in its pages. But there was no Kodee Kennings, and the elaborate hoax exposed Friday left The Daily Egyptian embarrassed.
"Series is exposed as hoax, retracted by student paper"
Associated Press, Aug. 29, 2005
A medical student who has worked for an abortion rights group and the director of a clinic that provides abortions were among authors of a report on the highly charged issue of fetal pain published Wednesday. The report, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, concluded that fetuses probably don't feel pain until around the seventh month of pregnancy.
"2 Authors of fetal-pain paper accused of bias"
USAToday, Aug. 24, 2005
On June 10, 2005, the results of the Gallup survey of the public's "confidence in major institutions" was published. In an Editor & Publisher story, Americans having a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in newspapers is 28 percent--an all-time low. The same 28 percent holds for TV also.
That translates to 72 percent of the public NOT having a lot of confidence in print and broadcast media.
Over the past year the mainstream media have taken a series of embarrassing hits: The CBS Rathergate forgery of President Bush's National Guard service; Newsweek's Koran-down-the-toilet canard; and TV commentator Armstrong Williams failing to report the receipt of $240,000 by the Department of Education as payment to tout its policies.
This past week two editors of niche media failed to do their homework, with the result that their publications have been severely contaminated and a number of reputations deeply hurt.