(NNPA)—I am a certified news junkie, but even I had to step away from the oversaturated media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. Anyone who has covered crimes on a smaller scale than the twin explosions in Boston knows that investigators don’t have instant answers for everything and it’s ridiculous to think that in a frenzied atmosphere, accurate information will be available in abundance. But that did not prevent news outlets and social media from rushing to be first rather than calmly waiting to be accurate.
The result was a string of embarrassing mistakes that did little to comfort a nation on edge, a nation that still hadn’t gotten over the shock of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Of course, this is not to suggest that everything reported by the media was wrong. The news media helped disseminate photos of the two bombing suspect that eventually led to their being identified. The media was able to pass along instructions for people to remain in their homes until the suspects were captured. And most of us learned what had happened in Boston by watching television, going to the Internet or social media.
Ironically, on the day the Pulitzer Prizes honoring excellence in journalism were announced—The Denver Post won the award for breaking news for its coverage of a mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. that left 12 dead and 58 injured—news outlets were making major blunders while covering the Boston bombings.
Among the most egregious: