from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail, Reporting has become a perilous business in the era of social media, shaved to seconds, not hours, in the pursuit of scoops and breaking news.
Using Twitter, Facebook and other Internet outlets, news is instantaneous. As we’ve seen in innumerable gaffes on these platforms lately, there is precious little time for reflection or fact-checking.
Nowhere was the breath-taking speed more conspicuous than last Monday’s NHL trade deadline day, where scoops – when they finally arrived in earnest five hours into the network TV shows – came quickly. By our count, Rogers Sportsnet nudged slightly ahead of TSN on the scoop category (the prized pelt of BlackBerry journalism) in relation to the 15 deals of the day.
But how do TSN and Sportsnet fact-check under the white-hot glare of instant deadlines? Do they use the same protocols? Is there time for a background call to verify trade details when your opponent can trump you in a heartbeat?