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And now for something…untrue


Even though the “Great Roethlisberger Hoax” is history, parallel effects could be long-lasting.

What will happen to fact-checking, verification and synthesis in print media – and online – in the future? After all, there are some who would argue that journalism’s use of social media creates a new standards.

The need for speed outweighs the need for accuracy.

Scholastic journalism has had its own version of the hoax in the April Fools issues each year. I hate to think what could happen it they go online.

Credibility and integrity are at the heart of this incident, and NPR’s On the Media made the incident the focus of its Sept. 3 show. Wise defends his intent, which he said was to show that far too many “journalists” would pick up and repost his “scoop.”

Listen or read the transcript of the show. It is well worth your – and your students’ – time now, and maybe even again in April because it speaks to issues raised by legacy media and the potential for their rebirth online.

(For more information, go here and here).

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