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Deadspin: Teen tricked Rovell on escort service/NBA lockout story

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by bigpern23, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member


    Gist of the story is an 18-year-old responded to a tweet from Darren Rovell looking for businesses negatively affected by the lockout. Kid says he runs an escort business in NYC and biz is down 30 percent without visiting NBA teams coming to the city. Rovell runs with it, others pick it up.

    How many stories to do we need to read like this before people start, you know, picking up the phone, fact checking, etc.? So many of these stories seem to require just a smidgen of skepticism on the part of the journalist to make sure they aren't getting duped.
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I am stunned into silence
  3. mlavieri

    mlavieri New Member

  4. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Rovell felt satisfied he'd asked enough question, so he ran it?
  5. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member


    Why does he vow to do less work as a result? How about vowing not to write up bullshit?
  6. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    The end of his "apology" is absolute chickenshit:

    It should have read:

  7. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    "But it was on the Internet! It has to be true!"
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Firing offense?
  9. JackS

    JackS Member

    Amen, bp23.

    But if it makes you feel any better, he'll be getting raked over the coals in the fall semester. I love getting this kind of material.
  10. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    I watched as my newspaper once rushed a story into print without solid fact-checking or holding off a day to step back and make sure the focus was real. Cost the paper big-time when the story proved totally false.

    Sometimes the story sounds so good, so big and/or so original/unique that the rush to scoop the world overwhelms everything else -- including the need to proceed with caution and skepticism. Rovell probably heard the words "escort business" and ran hard with it because right there, right then, was a salacious story all his own that would rock a Big Four sport.

    My paper got duped by our own reporters, not by a source. Those involved thought they had something huge, and they had nothing at all. But the buzz was contagious that night, and the emphasis quickly switched to getting the story written and into print instead of checking the facts or holding the story. Bad move.
  11. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I would say yes. Not only did he not do the work necessary to verify the facts he was presenting, his apology says he plans to do less in the future. If your organization values credibility, I can't imagine keeping him.

    It's great fodder for the classroom, Jack. Hopefully, some young future journalists will actually pay attention and take greater pride in their work than Rovell did here.
  12. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    How exactly do you verify an anonymous escort service provider? Ask for a 1040 from the guy? Not a big Rovell fan, but seems like many of us could be duped like this if people want to present themselves as someone they're not.
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