‘On the Media': A Consumer’s Handbook for Breaking News

The July crash of an Asiana Airlines jet at San Francisco International Airport led to a notorious false report of the pilots' names. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The July crash of an Asiana Airlines jet at San Francisco International Airport led to a notorious false report of the pilots’ names. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

When a big news story happens, who and what should you believe about the unfolding events? It’s a question for everyone, whether you’re a news “consumer” or someone who’s responsible for reporting a breaking story, editing it, and making sense of it for your audience. If you’re a journalist, you have other questions, too: How do I know what I think I know about this story? How do I make sure I get this right? All those questions seem to come up again every time a news organization stumbles in the midst of a major story. (This week’s example: In the chaotic aftermath of the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard massacre, CBS and NBC misreported the name of the shooter.)

So here (by way of Eydar Peralta of NPR’s The Two-Way news blog) is something we all can use: a “Breaking News Consumers Handbook” from WNYC’s “On the Media” (here’s the handy, downloadable PDF version).

KQED Public Radio broadcasts this week’s “On the Media,” including a segment on the breaking news handbook, Sunday at 2 p.m. and midnight.

What you need to remember when you're listening to or watching breaking news, from NPR's "On the Media."
What you need to remember when you’re listening to or watching breaking news, from NPR’s “On the Media.”

Related

Author

Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke (Twitter: @danbrekke) has worked in media ever since Nixon's first term, when newspapers were still using hot type. He had moved on to online news by the time Bill Clinton met Monica Lewinsky. He's been at KQED since 2007, is an enthusiastic practitioner of radio and online journalism and will talk to you about absolutely anything. Reach Dan Brekke at dbrekke@kqed.org.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor