An important lesson to learn


By Katherine Purvis - Posted on 04 October 2011

For four years, the media have swarmed around the trials and appeals linked to the murder of Meredith Kercher, and at perhaps the most crucial moment to date - the verdict of the appeals of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito - several news organisations managed to get it completely wrong. 

The Sun, the Guardian and Sky News all jumped the gun, reporting that Knox had lost her appeal when in fact, the court announced that it had found her guilty of a different offence. 

Meanwhile, The Daily Mail published an entire article on their website about how Knox and Sollecito had lost their appeals, describing their reactions and even including 'quotes' from prosecutors.

The Press Gazette has detailed the whole saga here:

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=47981&c=1

But, we can all learn a valuable lesson from this - a lesson which, really, we should know already: While being the first to report a story is admirable and a goal we should all aim to achieve, it is always, always, always more important to get the story right

 

That whole Kapuscinski thing still hurts...

http://centreforjournalism.com/blogs/novels-read#comment-1964

Every newspapers has 'guilty' and 'not guilty' versions prepared for the moment when verdicts are announced in major trials. Every editor lives in fear of running the wrong one. The web has made it easier than ever to make that mistake. That said, there really is no excuse for inventing colour and quotes to lend spurious authenticity to the discredited old process known as make it sing, make it dance, make it up.