View Full Version : Learning from mistakes

04-17-2007, 02:25 PM
Examining two separate cases of misreported stories can teach both the military and the media a lesson-practice restraint.

The cover-up regarding Pat Tillman's death was detrimental to military-media relations. One of the first lessons in PR is come clean, tell the whole truth; if something stinks, it only gets worse with age. High ranking officers should not have distorted the facts regarding Tillman's death. The media looks at the cover-up as one more reason not to trust the military.

On the other hand, the No Gun Ri episode reflected poorly on the media. Thankfully, Joe Galloway was around to discredit the Pulitzer Prize winning journalists' inaccurate story. However, many still regard the so called "massacre" as the truth. This story was an example of journalists jumping the gun and relying too much on one source, without fully checking the person out. Galloway took a look the chief source's service jacket and it was rife with questionable information. In fact, a clerk had even made notes in the margins, calling into question some of the "facts." Why did the AP reporters fail to see this and look into it? Perhaps they were hungry for their Pulitzer story.

One of the basic premises of reporting is, if your mother tells you she loves you, check it out. By being suspicious of everything, maybe reporters can avoid mistakes. On the military side, give the story to the media straight up, good, bad or ugly. It will serve both organizations better in the long run.

04-18-2007, 06:32 AM
The "relying on one source" is the phoney argument that your typical activist/propagandist/media whore uses when they get caught in an obvious lie. I don't believe for a second that the Urinalists who get caught spreading this kind of crap made a "mistake".

The truth is, the activist/media whore is looking for an opportunity to push their agenda, and will automatically trot out the "relying on one source" excuse whenever caught.

In the paraphrased words of Dan Rather, "Just because the story is based on a lie, doesn't mean it isn't true."