“Reporting in real time” is a communicator’s nightmare

Clark Hoyt’s column in the New York Times offers an excellent example on how accuracy, credibility and a strong message can be lost in the rush to publish online.

In the column, Hoyt describes how Times reporters and editors intitially posted a substandard story. It was only after additional reporting, thought and perspective, that the journalists corrected the shortcomings in their work.

Basically, these highly skilled journalsits were manipulated into publishing an article critical of Caroline Kennedy and her failed effort to become New York’s new U.S. senator.

If experienced journalists at the Times can be manipulated because they don’t wish to be scooped online, think how difficult it can be for communications professionals to get their message across during a crisis.

Best to have those emergency plans and messaging ready to go.

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