As I watched a teaser for Monday’s “Today Show” with Savannah Guthrie replacing Ann Currie, I was reminded of all the media coverage that surrounded Currie’s departure just a couple of weeks ago.
First there were all the rumors swirling around, and then, finally, the tearful goodbye on the show.
The media ate it up; and in everyone’s zeal to get the story, one article, from The New York Times, in particular stood out for how wrong they had it. And while it’s been a few years since The New York Times has had to admit mistakes and apologize on behalf of a reporter, it’s still a little shocking that it happened at all.
For those of us who work in communications and work with reporters on a daily basis, what recourse do we have when a reporter gets it wrong and reports inaccuracies or untruths about our clients? Depending on the egregiousness of the error, usually it’s no more than a tiny mention buried in the back of a newspaper, if at all.
While I appreciate that the Times’ Culture Editor and Executive Editor came to the reporter’s defense, the excuse that the reporter was multitasking is weak. That’s the nature of a reporter’s job — to multitask and cover a variety of stories at once.
What are your thoughts on this story? Was the reporter just multitasking and made a simple error? Was this indicative of downsized newsrooms and reporters spread too thin? How do we make sure that the media continues to tell our clients’ stories with integrity and accuracy?
~ Barb Jones