Case Study 1

25 Jan

The “Eagle Snatches Dog” story really surprised me. It’s amazing how convincing a story can sound just because of far-fetched facts. It also shows me how people will do almost anything for a good story.

As soon as I finished reading this story, so many questions bubbled up from inside me: Why was this couple in Alaska? Why were they unidentified (couldn’t the reporter at least have gotten their names?)? My initial thought was that this story was a great example of sloppy reporting. I seriously thought the writer just felt too lazy to care about getting more important information.

 Urban legends seem to make attractive stories. Sometimes they sound really convincing, too. Obviously my B.S. detector was not on when I looked through this story. However, the fact that my partners and I tried to find out was was wrong was indeed a good sign, since we could tell that something was not right. 

 Quora proved to be an interesting experience. When I began typing a question about witnesses, the question “Is it always okay to take witnesses at their word?” showed up. Todd Gardiner, a self-proclaimed “photographer and questioner of too much privacy,” said journalists tend to be careful to attribute what people say rather than “reporting their statements as a fact.” It is extremely important that reporters do this, and at least the reporter did attribute what the witnesses said and did not state it as fact.

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