Lessons from the CBS News failure

Another lesson is for journalists to pay attention to chatter on the Internet. Within hours of CBS making its charges — basically that Bush was a laggard in the National Guard — bloggers and other commentators on the Net expressed doubt over the veracity of documents that CBS used to back its story (and later posted on its Web site). Less than a day after the broadcast, the Cybercast News Service, a division of the Media Research Center in Arlington, Va., had picked up on the chatter and backed — with its own interviews with independent experts — the bloggers’ contention that the documents were phony. The rest of the mainstream media took note, and quickly followed. But CBS was slow to pay attention. Jay Rosen, chairman of New York University’s Department of Journalism, asks, “Why doesn’t CBS have someone reading the Internet?” —Marshall LoebLessons from the CBS News failure (CBS Marketwatch )