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Topic: boston marathon

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April 18, 2013 at 6:31 AM

Media’s description of search for ‘dark skinned’ Boston Marathon suspect shows ineptitude around race

The scene following an explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon. (Photo by Ben Thorndike / AP)

The scene following an explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon. (Photo by Ben Thorndike / AP)

CNN has egg on its face after the network and other media outlets falsely reported in multiple stories a suspect had been arrested in the Boston Marathon explosions, summed up in a Tampa Bay Times story.  In a competitive media environment, reporters naturally want to get the news first, but first they should get it right.

There are lessons to learn in CNN’s other big faux pas of the day: Reporter John King said law enforcement officers were looking for a suspect, “a dark-skinned individual.” The description ended there, making it about as useful as saying police were looking for a person with two eyes and a nose, wrote the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple on his blog.

King may have been concerned about the flimsy description. Reporting on-air for CNN, he said: “I want to be very careful about this because people get very sensitive when you say these things. I was told by one of these sources, who is a law enforcement official, that this was a dark-skinned male. The official used some other words, I’m not going to repeat them until we get more information because of the sensitivities. There are some people that will take offense even at that. “

The only offense I took was professionally.

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Comments | Topics: boston marathon, cnn, media

April 15, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Boston Marathon explosions require a different kind of endurance

 
 
People flee from what was described as twin explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon (Photo/WBZTV)

People flee from what was described as twin explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon
(Photo by WBZTV)

Update: Tues., 9:00 a.m] President Obama’s frequent addresses to the nation are helping ease fears in the aftermath of Monday’s twin explosions in Boston. For the second time in less than 24 hours, the president  took to the airwaves, this time to announce that authorities are investigating the blasts as “acts of terrorism.” Whether the work of domestic or foreign terrorists remains unknown

Update:

President Obama spoke to the nation later Monday, cautioning Americans to wait for answers:  “We still do not know who did this or why.  And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.”

Obama, perhaps tuning into a nation’s gnawing anxiety, added: “But make no mistake – we will get to the bottom of this.  And we will find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this.  Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”

Earlier:

The explosions disrupting the 2013 Boston Marathon were horrific, and the horror continues as news reports come in of horrible injuries, including multiple amputations.

The blasts went off about four hours after the men’s race started; thousands of runners were still finishing the race. The epicenter of the blasts was the finish line. Someone, or something, had a cruel sense of timing. The blasts sent fireballs and plumes of smoke engulfing runners using up their last bit of endorphins to finish the race.

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