Letter to Romenesko
From DIANE WERTS: Subject — One thing nobody brings up about Te’o reporting. I’m a former Newsday editor/critic who took a buyout after 22 years at the paper in 2008 — long enough to blog, but before all the Twitter/Facebook fun. (I am still a contract freelancer for Newsday.)
One thing nobody seems to mention in excoriating early media acceptance of the Manti Te’o girlfriend tale — nobody checked deep enough, blah blah blah (Howard Kurtz just let loose on CNN) — is that many reporters are no longer given *time* to report. For print (or whatever you want to call today’s newspaper/magazine biz), they’re too busy blogging, Tweeting, dashing out “breaking news” alerts/writethrus, and otherwise upping online page views with right-now quick takes. For TV, they’re too busy “going live” from “location” to actually go out and, you know, find out anything, much less make an effort to confirm it. Many if not most reporters abhor this, but going along is the way they keep their jobs. And we all know how few of those are left.
Let’s lay some blame on their outlets’ editors — or, better yet, the ownership.
Read the 40+ comments about this letter on my Facebook wall.
* Pete Thamel: “I sat down with Manti Te’o for a story that was due two hours after the interview concluded” (sportsillustrated.com)
* Media fact-check policies questioned amid Te’o scandal (usatoday.com)
* “I just finished filing my fifth story of the day. Even so…” (facebook.com/JimRomenesko)
* John McIntyre: “There are supposed to be editors who ask hard questions” (baltimoresun.com)