There is one thing that Journalists do that Bloggers could learn a lot from: checking facts and sources.
One of the best things about New Media is that anyone who has a thought can publish it to the world. One of the worst things about New Media is that anyone who has a thought that may not be accurate can publish it to the world.
Thoughts spread… right or wrong.
It’s easy to see how a little news item or a thought (or even a rumour) can brew up to be a lot more than a storm in a teacup. Tools like Twitter and Facebook make it even easier to publish something. The truth is that a lot of the times issues or news items that brew up to the top of the trending topics turn out to be a misunderstanding, or a mistake, or just plain wrong.
Sadly, people don’t like admitting that they are wrong.
So, what happens? They beat that dead horse. They start in with the conspiracy theories, or how the person/company being accused is white-washing the scenario, or blatantly lying to cover it up. It’s easy to keep on your thought (even if you’re wrong). It’s hard to actually admit your wrong, and it’s even harder to go out and actually get a quote from the original source.
We also tend to slap and bash those that don’t respond right away. The truth is – on many occasions – it takes a little bit of time to analyze the situation, figure out where the fault lies (if at all), and to formulate a plan of communication and reaction. Not everyone has the luxury of being solely responsible to their keyboard and armchair. In the past couple of weeks, there have been multiple instances where major "fails" were promoted, published and provoked through channels like Twitter that were – in the end – not fully accurate.
If you owe it to your community to share your raw feelings and thoughts without all of the facts, don’t you also owe that same audience and community the truth (and maybe an apology)?