Quick note this morning about ‘news’ , and then I’ve got to do some real work:
Last night a truckload of hysteria was overtaking LE-oriented news pages, and getting endlessly repeated.
While a situation is ongoing, we HAVE to be the ones to step back, take a breath, and wait. First reports are nearly always wrong.
Further investigation nearly always turns up more stuff.
If you are to trust me as a source and as a writer, I have to be as accurate as possible.
If you want others to trust you, as LE or blue family, you too have an obligation to only pass on stuff that’s verified.
The situation in Harris County got endlessly re-shared, even though it was being simultaneously reported as:
1. a gas station robbery
2. an active shooter (every shooting is not an active shooter situation, btw)
3. a home invasion and
4. even, eventually an OIS and then , worse, an officer down.
It is not possible for any one situation to be all of those things at the same time.
Therefore, step back, wait and don’t repeat anything, at all, until stuff gets sorted out.
If you have to ask, do it by pm, rather than publicly. Get other eyeballs onboard.
Where’s the harm in that?
Lately I’ve even seen ‘please pray! Officer down! Firefighter shot!” posts that were months, sometimes YEARS old.
It scares people when that happens. And it erodes trust.
Check dates, please.
Use Google News. Search for things.
If a story can’t be verified, wait.
If I share something and it turns out later to be different–
I’ll share the real deal, and retract the first story.
So far I’ve only had to do that once.
I’d rather do it every day than have readers start regarding my page as a source of doubt.
And I’d always rather be right, than be first.