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Columnist fooled for failing to fact check

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Columnist - and the local American Legion post - duped for failing to fact check the story ...
    I appreciate the way he handled it.

    Full story

  2. Harry Doyle

    Harry Doyle Member

    Not fact-checking seems to be a trend. Or a cancer.

    The Deseret News in Salt Lake City took a press release and ran it nearly verbatim. Well, that backfired.
  3. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Very well done. Place I worked post-Katrina ran a sob story about a couple who said they'd lost everything and were headed out to California to rebuild. One of our reporters bought it hook, line and sinker, and we followed ... until we got a call a week later from some relatives who had been following them cross-country via the Internet.

    Best thing to do in this situation is be honest with your readers and hope they're forgiving.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Anything to do with someone raising money, injured people and the military should raise red flags.

    Who is going to question a father needing money to see his son wounded in Afghanistan?

    People lie about military service and athletic accomplishments more than anything else (except probably money).
  5. Drip

    Drip Active Member

  6. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    The Deseret News has about as much to do with journalism as Rupert Murdoch has with mushroom gardening.
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Tell us how you really feel about Mormons.
  8. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

  9. So this afternoon I get a call from a woman who claims to be a 53-year-old cancer patient.
    Said she had an indoor moving sale Saturday, during which $1,300 was stolen by three adults and a child. She wants us to do a human interest story.

    My first question: Ma'am did you file a police report?
    She said she called the cops (the next evening), but never filed a report.
    I called the PD and inquired. She did call, basically describing the same scenario, stating the money was in a box that these people took out to their car. She went out to the car to confront the subjects, retrieved the box, but the money was gone. She told police she did not know the names of the people or their vehicle. She also provided no description of the alleged thieves or their vehicle.
    The police report states "the woman advised she wanted the PD to be aware in case something like this occurs in the future."

    Two days later she calls us.
    I suspect the woman wants a feature for fundraising for her treatments, if in fact she has cancer.
    I might be inclined to do something, but there are just too many red flags here for me.
  10. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Slightly off topic, but there was an organizer for an event to rebuild a terminal cancer patient's car who just liked being a fame whore. He was the first one to jump to the cameras, but I never saw him do anything else.

    I saw him later that year on TLC's "Mall Cops" where he was the organizer for the "no Pants Day" ride on the Twin Cities light rail. Once again, he was right out in front for the cameras.
  11. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Automatic questions in such situations: Do you have a bank account establised? Where? What's the number? And use it in the story.
  12. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Journalism 101 IS people!
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