Some thoughts on Ferguson from a beat up old retired reporter. Interesting, isn’t it, that so many people that weren’t there, that were not privy to a word of evidence, are willing to argue with the grand jury’s finding? When the transcript of the proceeding is released, I wonder if many will actually read it.
Watching the situation from afar, after all northern Nevada is not very close to Missouri, I often cringed at some of the reporting. Talking heads assuming the reporter on the scene actually had inside information? From whom? More than one editor took great chunks out of my head when I first got started in this business because I didn’t or couldn’t corroborate something I had written.
We all saw CNN reporters interview people and say as fact the person was a witness to the shooting only to find out that he wasn’t anywhere near the scene. We heard conjecture reported as fact. And, now, we are amazed at the reaction following release of the grand jury’s report.
If I still had a working newsroom I think this would be a good time to have a sit-down with all the reporters and use Ferguson as a learning tool. How not to report on flammable issues. Mr. Gruber may have been right about swaying the American public because of a case of ignorance.
Have a great day.