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In a world where news is ubiquitous, social, and instant, what is the quality of that news?

Many consider it to be instant where in fact it may take a several days to be verified. In a world full of instant amateur journalism how do we gauge the quality of that news and its provenance? There have been cases where stories are trending in twitter for example that turn out to be inaccurate.

If you could visualize a news-worthy story on social media it would be like a firestorm spreading across the web, but every firestorm is started from a spark and who can instantly verify if that spark wasn’t set for nefarious purposes, inferring that social news can also be manipulated .

It has been proven that any group of people will report an incident differently sometimes varying wildly. Even mainstream media such as the BBC etc are now referring to social media in their reports. Are we thus accepting a lower standard of news?


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    Dec 4 2012: Benghazi is a sample of the most recent multi directional event I can think of. That a attack occured was report by many sources and so that was pretty much a sure thing. After that statements both official and unofficial took us on a ride. Was it caused by a film .... a planned attack ... why no support ... statements by the embassy in Egypt ... statements by the Sec of State ... presidential statements.

    Even now we are seeing in Congressional hearings that the facts are blurred. It seems to have taken Susan Rices' career on a rollercoaster ride. Her appearance on national TV soon after the event has become a political issue.

    We have one station available in the metro area that always says there has been a _____ and we will provide that story when we can verify what has happened. I tend to put more faith in that station as they are correct more often than not.

    Another issue that is filling time and space is the fisical cliff and budget debates. That appears to be base on party lines and it depends on the station you watch what you are being told. I have tried the math of both sides and to be honest it does not add up either way. Both sides are using scare tactics to win support. I read some reports from speeches at Devos that I have placed some faith in. For me it is simple economics. You either want big government and intervention at many levels plus more programs that cannot be supported fiscially or not. In that I can do the math.

    Yep I have been sucked in and have eaten crow. The important thing is that I try to learn and grow from these events. There were some I really wanted to believe and that is also part of the problem. Of course there are always those among us who bring up any past errors ... wish I was as perfect as they are.

    All the best. Bob.

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