Is journalism dead?
It may as well be considering that the upstart news outfit called Buzzfeed posted a video that caused mostly every national news outlet and individuals to take it on face value and run with it. It happened at the March for Life event last Monday.
Here’s what happened in a nutshell: Students from a Kentucky Catholic high school were in the nation’s capital for the annual pro-life event, but ended up accused of getting into a racially-oriented tiff including, for one, a stare-down with a drum-beating Native American. The video that went viral was heavily edited with the real perpetrators unseen. Furthermore, the high school cheer was interpreted as rabble-rousing on the part of the boys.
Virtually all media and even the Kentucky archdiocese pounced on the students. We now know the original BuzzFeed story was highly inaccurate. The news pack, however, drilled down on the story without fact-checking.
Apparently, what is dead is the presumption of innocence and accuracy.
Another generation of journalists I’m more familiar with, though not perfect, would not run with someone else’s story without doing their own tracking. Most newsrooms would demand it. Obviously, it’s a new day and the unethical BuzzFeed story created needless damage to the students as well as their families. But it gave the media a deserving blackeye.
Journalism as I know it, is gasping for air. What we need is a generation of reporters and editors committed to truth and accuracy who do their work with clear eyes, not blurred by personal, political agendas.
Unbelievably, the left-wing Joy Behar, of ABC’s The View said the “real reason” BuzzFeed and the copycats went after the Catholic kids was because they were wearing red MAGA hats. Behar said we don’t like Trump and want him out of there…Thank you, Joy.