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Fast But Inaccurate News Criticized

Pete Springer/OPB

National news has been constant this week, especially with the Boston bombings, and the explosion in Texas. Today President Obama was among those mourning the people who died and the more than 170 who were injured in Boston. Yesterday conflicting news about a break in the Boston case were reported widely — in social media, online news and broadcast media. CNN, the Associated Press and others incorrectly reported that a suspect had been arrested.

News critic Peter Laufer isn’t remotely surprised by these developments. He’s among those who point out that commercial, human — and news — instincts drive us to be the first to know, sometimes at the expense of  the facts. Laufer advocates “slow” news. In other words, reports that have had the time to be verified as good journalism requires. He says the arrest story is a perfect case in point. 

How closely are you following the breaking news this week? How soon do you want to know when possible developments break in a story you’re interested in? 

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