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Whoooops! LA Times apologizes for Tupac story

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Elliotte Friedman, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    It's a tough one. From what I understand, Philips' reputation was stellar. Hate to see that happen to anyone.

    Very curious to see if a follow-up will be done about the documents, who gave them to him and why they were mistakenly considered FBI property.

  2. SonofGarySmith

    SonofGarySmith New Member

    Second time in the last year or so they've been burned by something like this, when you remember the Jason Grimsley story in sports.
  3. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Apples and redactions. The only similarity is it's the same paper.
  4. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    You know how people like to complain that the correction never gets as big a play as the story did?

    This correction ran on A-1. The story was printed inside the entertainment section.
  5. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    Did they say Tupac is dead?
  6. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    This is a really bad one, and the correction/apology is in order and deserves serious play from a journalistic and ethical standpoint.

    But one paragraph in the correction/apology itself also contains the other likely reason for it: Rosemond said in a statement Wednesday that the Times article created "a potentially violent climate in the hip-hop community." His attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, added: "I would suggest to Mr. Philips and his editors that they immediately print an apology and take out their checkbooks -- or brace themselves for an epic lawsuit."

    I have no doubt that the reporter, the editor and the newspaper are right, sincere and true in their apology and regret, and I feel for the career crisis that this seems likely to cause the writer, especially. This should hurt all of us.

    For what it's worth, however, I find it interesting that there are 167 comments -- 17 pages worth and probably as many as have been submitted on almost anything since Christine Daniels' coming-out. It also currently ranks first among the most-viewed stories of the day on the web site.

    I hate to think it, but I can't help wondering, in this day and age, if the high-level clicks and interactivity could be counting for something in terms of the play?

    And sadly, this appears to have been yet another instance of the internet-driven rush to be first, instead of right, or better yet, both. Even though the bulk of the work had been going on since January, that much can be gleaned from the fact that this article had been put up on the web two days before it ever got into the print edition.

    That could have been because of section scheduling or space reasons, of course. But I'm thinking that maybe if the story hadn't already been up on the web, and, in a sense, considered finished, those two extra days might have been spent on further solidifying the reporting and verifying the documents involved.

    That might have led to a very difference article, one for which there would have been no apology necessary, whatever stumbling there might have been along the way.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Let me fill in something I left hanging above...

    Every time an error in sports reporting is brought up in recent memory, The Jason Grimsley / L.A. Times redacted affidavit and source article is brought up. I'm not here to state there weren't issues -- one major -- with the report. There were.
    But, the source was absolutely correct about the names. He was in error about the source material. And there is no denying that fact.
    But, let's take the names one by one cited in the article:

    Roger Clemens- It was the first mention of Clemens in connection with PEDs. He denied. Threatened to sue. Well, we know how that's turned out, gluteal abscess and all.
    Andy Pettitte- Denied. Denied. Denied. Whoops. Admitted.
    Miguel Tejada- He's been implicated from everyone from Palmeiro to Canseco and pops up in the Mitchell report with purchase of anabolic steroids $1,500 receipted.
    Jay Gibbons- Later implicated in Florida steroids probe by Sports Illustrated and cited in Mitchell Report.
    Brian Roberts- How does someone pull Brian Roberts out of thin air? Admitted in December to being a steroid user.

    Like I stated above, I'm not defending the entirety of the piece. But, the source was 5 for 5.
  8. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    Wow, Phillips won a Pulitzer, too?

    I don't think this one is going to end so well for the guy. That's too bad.
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    The desire to be first trumping the desire to be right has been part of this profession long before the Internet.

    Having said that, I'd rather be beaten to a story and be right than be first and wrong.
  10. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    Sadly, some editors don't agree with that philosophy. Hence, these types of situations.
  11. EmbassyRow

    EmbassyRow Active Member

    Dude, if you play '2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted' backwards, yeah. It's fuckin' TRIPPY.
  12. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    As far as I can tell, this was some really shoddy journalism by one of the nation's most respected bastions of journalistic integrity. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong but this was JO101 stuff not done here.
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