“A Bungled Attempt” of Accuracy in the Media

“A bungled attempt to thank a veteran” is how NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams explained his misleading stories about covering the war in Iraq.  Williams’s “failed memory” surrounding his 2003 reporting in Iraq is just one glaring example of the prevalence of inaccuracy in the media.10881482_10153015321653689_2003756564649667856_n

Other instances where media failed to correctly deliver the facts are CBS Anchor Scott Pelley’s mistakes in coverage over the Sandy Hook shootings and many other networks flawed reporting in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

One study shows that just over 59 percent of newspaper articles contained some type of error. These statistics are sobering and they serve as a wake-up call about why communications professionals must be vigilant.  Our job is not only to promote the positive stories about the people and company’s we represent.  Rather, reputation management – making sure stories are accurate – should be a priority.

Journalists have a responsibility to report the truth and to make sure both sides of a story are presented, but inaccurate reporting in the media is creating new challenges for all of us. For communications professionals, playing defense could be more important than a good offense.

For NBC News, it might take all six months of Williams’s suspension to figure out how to position the veteran anchor to return to the anchor desk. The ratings of the #1 broadcast are already suffering in the all-important February sweeps month.

Will you watch NBC News if Williams returns? We want to hear from you!

Photo via.