The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 20, 2013

Do news mistakes matter anymore?


But Jurkowitz says readers and viewers have a short memory for any specific mistake. Just as the public doesn't remember which news outlet got a story first, it also doesn't remember which one got the story wrong, he says.

"I'd be skeptical that there is lasting damage for any news organization unless they made a habit of this," Jurkowitz says.

On the other hand, the bad news about bad reporting, he says, is that mistakes damage the media generally.

"To the extent that people are aware of the mistakes, it just reinforces the public's distrust" of the media," he says. "It just amplifies the sense that the media doesn't care about getting things right, that all it cares about is ratings, that accuracy doesn't matter. . . . The public's opinion of the media isn't high to begin with. And this doesn't help."

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