Ieri è morto Joe Paterno, il coach della Penn State, una specie di leggenda del football universitario USA. Paterno era andato in pensione l'anno scorso dopo che uno scandalo pedofilo aveva travolto uno dei suoi aiuti. Il fatto interessante è che una falsa notizia del suo decesso è annunciata circa 12 ore prima che Paterno morisse veramente. E che molte testate USA - come l'Huffington Post (e vabbè), BreakingNews (che ora è di MSNBC) e addirittura la CBS Sport - l'hanno presa per buona. Il New York Times, oggi, racconta la cosa.
The specific problems on Saturday night stemmed from flaws in sourcing. Rumors swirled earlier in the day about Mr. Paterno’s health, prompting the family to confirm that his condition was serious. The editors of an independent student publication at Pennsylvania State University, Onward State, were aware of those rumors when two writers independently heard about an e-mail that had ostensibly been sent to Penn State athletes about Mr. Paterno’s death, the publication said in an analysis on Sunday. The e-mail was a hoax, but the editors did not know that. Neither writer had seen it, and one of the two “had not been honest in his information,” according to the analysis. But a Twitter message was sent and an article was written by Onward State on Saturday evening saying that the coach had died, leading national news organizations like CBSSports.com to follow suit. Links to the reports were shared online by hundreds of journalists, athletes and others; most linked to CBS. Within an hour, a spokesman for the Paterno family denied the reports — and soon thereafter two of Mr. Paterno’s sons even used Twitter to deny them personally.
La morale la tira Lou Ferrara, il managing editor della AP per lo Sport, gli spettacoli e il multimedia:
“It reminds me of the early days of the Net, when people thought the digital revolution would result in a lowering of journalistic standards. Such lowering only happens if we allow it to.”
New York Times