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LA Times says basketball player dies, even though he is still alive

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SnarkShark, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    This is embarrassing...

    LA Times prep reporter writes local standout basketball player died in a skateboarding accident...


    Except - WHOOPS! - he's not dead.

    This would certainly warrant a big correction, right? Wrong!

    Story is updated, changing the headline and story from "dies" to "seriously injured," with the only acknowledgment he was declared dead by the reporter the previous evening well underneath the story.


  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    It's in the second paragraph of the story. Maybe they should have bolded it for you.

    Chino Hills Coach Steve Baik had told The Times on Wednesday afternoon that Okongwu, 17, had died and that information was originally reported in this article. The Times is trying to confirm information on Okongwu's status from family members or the hospital. The hospital is releasing no information.
  3. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    Wasn't that way earlier.
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    You can issue your correction anytime.
  5. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    It wasn't that way when I looked at it. Otherwise, why would they have the second graf and the note below the story?
  6. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    The story has since been updated to say he was alive but that the hospital wasn't releasing his condition.

    This has happened before with people having serious injuries, life support is off and it being reported that they have died, when they haven't.

    My best guess is that the story will be updated, again, to reflect the player dying.
  7. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    Joe Paterno is laughing somewhere.
  8. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    It wasn't just the LAT. LANG had him dead last night too.

    This story has been updated, but note the URL.


    And TV stations reported he was dead.

    From the LANG story:

    A message on the player’s Instagram account was posted early Wednesday evening showing “Nnamdi Michael Okongwu, September 20, 1996 - July 16, 2014,” but that same account had a subsequent post after midnight saying, “Please stop telling nnamdi is dead please just pray for him.”

    Three television stations and another print publication cited a school official who had confirmed that the player had passed away.
  9. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    To be fair, I've made hospital calls and received updates that someone was in serious condition, when in fact they were brain dead- they were only being kept alive to harvest organs or wait for family to arrive. Hope that isn't the case here for the kid's sake.
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I don't see the issue here.

    It's sports related, so the rules are different. Go with what you have, and if you get a scoop, great. If not, you can always correct it later, and nobody will question why you rushed to be first when you didn't have the story nailed down.

    If the stakes were higher, like if it was a political figure, I could see why people would be upset by this.
  11. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Maybe Dick Cheney killed him.
  12. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    I'll never forget when the sage advice I got in journalism school... Go with what you have, you can always correct it later.

    Holy hell. Are you kidding me?
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