Is the addiction to being the first to deliver a news story killing the quality and reliability of our news organizations?

CBS and NBC both incorrectly identified the Navy Yard shooter in tweets this week. “NBC News: we are now NOT reporting name of shooter; retracting that report. deleting those tweets,” tweeted an NBC News reporter later.

Something similar happened when the Sandy Hook shooting story was breaking - news outlets named the wrong Lanza as the shooter. 

Get AllSides in your Inbox

Get balanced news in your inbox weekly.

For these types of mistakes and more, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox cable news were lambasted on The Daily Show this week. Jon Stewart derided them for reporting irrelevant and wrong information; wasting viewers' time with bogus news. 

Stewart responding to CNN clips:

"No...those are not interesting developments. You're just standing in front of a camera naming every {bleep} thing you see."


"I know you think that saying, 'this could be all wrong', makes it OK - but it does not make it OK."

We've seen breaking news gaffs before, particularly in presidential elections. Remember the 2000 election, when networks called Florida for Gore at 8pm and by morning Bush was ahead in Florida by 1,200 votes? Go further back in history and you will find a photo of president-elect Truman holding a newspaper that says "Dewey Wins," even though Truman won that election.

Though the "reporting too soon" issue may have always been there, it seems to be happening with more frequency in these days of instant, 24-hour news. 

Is this a disturbing trend to you, or are you OK with how breaking news is reported today? 

Note: If you see any good stories on major reporting mistakes, please share them with us on our Facebook page