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For tweet's sake: Of Robinson Cano, suspensions and shaky sourcing

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Versatile, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    So Charlotte TV reporter Dan Tordjman tweets, "Can't confirm this but I'm hearing that Robinson #Cano tested positive for PEDs. Announcement from #MLB coming shortly. #Yankees" at about 1 p.m. Then Twitter do as Twitter does, and the Yankees second baseman is a trending topic with Yankee Universe shaken. Then baseball reporters -- along with Cano and agent Scott Boras -- chime in.

    And USA Today reported that an MLB official denied any failed test by Cano.

    Now, how would you handle this thing if you're on the beat? Do you report a denial of a report you never reported? The New York Times, ESPN, Yahoo, CBS and Sports Illustrated are playing this down quite a bit or not reporting it at all. Cano's the best player on a likely playoff team.

    What's more, the Daily News and USA Today don't name Tordjman. Was it fair for MLB.com to single him out? I'd say yes, as Tordjman went on all day defending his "can't confirm this" rumor. NESN, weirdly enough, has that story in detail. Would you single him out? How do you handle this if you're his boss?
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    What in the hell is a Charlotte TV reporter doing tweeting "breaking news" about the Yankees anyway?
  3. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    That's why I think it's worthwhile to include him in stories about this. It's absurd that this guy thought he had some big scoop on the most well-covered team in, perhaps, all of American sports.
  4. Tordjman -- or anybody else -- should have stopped after the first three words of the tweet. I don't give a damn if it's Twitter, blog or yellowing, old newsprint. It's your body of work and you have to own it. Whatever you produce has to pass the test. There are no free passes given just because it's online, or a limited number of characters.
  5. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    That's a huge mistake by the reporter. No other way to put it. He's not just a part of the story, he is the story and has to own it.

    Now, if it turns out he is right and everyone else is lying -- not out of the realm of possibility these days, sadly -- we should note that with equal vigor.
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    According to his bio Tordjman isn't a sports guy. He's an investigative reporter who has won a few awards over the years. He's also a Mets fan.
  7. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Even if you can't confirm the rumor--and never should have tweeted it in the first place--you can likely confirm whether there's going to be a MLB statement made at 1 pm. Check SOMETHING, just to give the impression you have slightly more credibility than an 8th grader with a modem.

    Agree with Elliotte 100% that this guy made himself the story. Now you have to own it.
  8. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Fire his ass. Twitter or no Twitter, you don't run something you can't confirm. If you can't confirm it, keep working until you do.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    At my place, we absolutely, positively would not follow up news that proved to be wrong. I'm not sure if that's the correct approach, because sometimes the fact that news was reported wrong becomes news in and of itself. But that was the line in the sand that we drew. At one point, a message board reported that the basketball coach was leaving for another job. It wasn't true, but the next day, most outlets had, "No merit to Internet rumor about coach." The team flak was pestering our guy to also run something, and I'm not exactly sure why. He kept trying to tell him that he wasn't going to give erroneous reports by non-professionals credibility, and that our readers were no worse for wear having never found out about the "story."
  10. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I looked at some Met message boards to see if there was a chance that his "source" was some fanboi thread about "rumors" that Cano flunked a test but couldn't find anything.

    And since the guy isn't as sports reporter and isn't in NYC I doubt the station will do anything to him.
  11. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I disagree with that mentality. Your readers aren't loyal. Particularly with social media, they are finding information in all sorts of ways. Tgis story gives you a quick and easy way to remind them of your standards, accountability and reliability. That alone is worthwhile.
  12. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Has this douche's Twitter account always been protected, or is this just a reaction to being exposed as an idiot? I find it hard to believe a reporter would go that route these days, but it's protected now.
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