Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Jay Rosen Nails It: Over at his PressThink blog, Jay Rosen expresses his disappointment with CNN (and other mainstream media) over the Sago mining disaster debacle, and takes the network to task for describing its erroneous reporting as "unavoidable." Then he writes a nice speech for CNN honcho Jonathan Klein to give to the troops at the network.
“We screwed this up, although we came out looking okay because the Governor was wrong, and we had a wrong Congress person too. Their sources were as bad as our sources.

“We’re CNN; we’re supposed to be more reliable than anyone. Our slogan isn’t ‘Wrong when the Governor’s wrong.’ Statesmen are supposed to watch us to find out what’s going on in their world.

“It is unacceptable to me that for three hours of live television, with our top talent presiding, we’ve got twelve men alive reported as truth, and we never saw those men, no ambulances for them ever moved, and we had no real confirmation. Just a bunch of people saying: yeah, that’s what we heard.

“No one from inside the rescue operation was putting his name, or his ass on the line with those facts. But we did not report that. Yet we put our ass and our name on the line, and Anderson’s, when we had almost no facts."

Rosen, who is a journalism professor, may not take this as a complement, but he would make a great PR man. At least, his public relations instincts in this instance are spot on. My only disagreement is that rather than giving this speech to employees, he should go on air and repeat it to CNN's audience.

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