University Times

Has Twitter Ruined Credibility?

Sarkis Adajian

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On March 21, 2006, accurate news reporting said its farewell, and flawed “journalism” took center stage.

On that day, a social media phenomenon was born, Twitter made its debut. The invention of Twitter made it more important to be the first to report “Breaking News” instead of reporting correct “Breaking News.”

Today, most of the major networks, in addition to posting their reports on their websites, release their stories through Twitter. However, nothing compares to the impact that Twitter has had on sports journalism. Between all the major sports networks, there are hundreds of credible reporters that will tweet the latest sports gossip before releasing the information anywhere else. For the most part, these reports are accurate, but on multiple  occasions, credible reporters who work for the biggest companies in the world have made claims that could not be further from the truth.

ESPN NBA Reporter, Chris Broussard, recently reported something that triggered a direct reply from the person he was reporting on, Mark Cuban.

Broussard tweeted, “Cuban beside himself. Driving around downtown HOUSTON begging (thru texts) Jordan’s family 4 address to DeAndre’s hom.”

Cuban replied, “that’s is the dumbest shit Ive ever heard. If you had any ehtics u would msg me and I will give u his adress.”

A couple days later, Broussard tweeted a public apology to Cuban. "Regarding my Wednesday report: I should have attempted to contact Mark Cuban before reporting what my sources were telling me. I always try to carry myself with honesty and integrity both personally and professionally. I recognize that I tweeted hastily, I'm sorry for it, and I will learn from my mistake."

Journalism requires thourough investigtion into the matter you are reporting on. Broussard, in this situation, did not do that.

Ric Bucher, a former NBA analyst for ESPN, and a current reporter for Bleacher Report tweeted out a trade in the NBA that ultimately forced him to publicly apologize for reporting false information.

Initial report:

“Source: Toronto looking to S&T Kyle Lowry to Miami for cash and future picks. Part II: Bosh opts out, returns to Toronto. Now hearing that Norris Cole would also be part of the Lowry-to-Miami deal.”

Apology:

“My deepest and sincere apologies. My report on Lowry and a S&T between Raptors-Heat is wrong. I should’ve known better. I could not be more embarrassed. I can’t explain why someone would go the lengths “my source” did to set me up, but that’s irrelevant. I allowed my zeal to break a story to take too much for granted. I’d like to think I’m better than that. Yesterday and today I was not.

Bucher, in his haste to be the first to report the trade, ended up having his credientials questioned, and ultimately left ESPN.

This, however, does not only affect sports journalism.

In April of 2013, the AP website was hacked, and the hacker sent out a tweet that caused the Dow to plunge 130 points. The tweet read, “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” Although you can not blame this on poor journalism, it is a scary thought that a social media outlet has that strong of an affect on the world. An affect that can cost millions of dollars, because of a false claim.

Journalism used to be the most authentic way to receive the news. People would rely on their local and national reporters to bring them truthful information. Has Twitter ruined the integrity of journalism? Has the alacrity to be the first one to report something become more vital than proper reporting?

Don’t get me wrong Twitter has it perks. It has given many people a chance to brand themselves, and make a name for themselves in whatever industry they are in. But we need to reestablish our standards of credibility. Being first is not always the winner in this situation. 

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