Journalists suspend skepticism about sourcing with news of bin Laden’s death

Poynter.org
Most of what President Obama says is usually questioned by the media and the blogosphere, but when he announced that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden, most of the traditional media and online community readily accepted his version of the events. A handful of media organizations were cautious about stating bin Laden’s death as a fact, notes Adam Hochberg. He writes:

The banner headline in Monday’s New York Times print edition attributed to President Obama the claims that bin Laden had been killed. Stopping short of confirming the terrorist leader’s death, the Times conspicuously noted that he had been “reported dead.”

Other newspapers that sourced the report to the White House included the Gadsen (Ala.) Times, where the page one headline read, “Obama: Bin Laden is dead,” and the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer, which said, “Obama: Bin Laden killed in attack.”

> Surprising to see how many papers used one word – DEAD – for bin Laden heds

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  • Anonymous

    I believed it immediately. Yes, I’ve been a reporter, but mostly an editor. As such I tend to be skeptical. However, Obama’s dramatic late-night appearance to announce this persuaded me that this it was true. First, he said that though some had told him he should bomb the compound, he rejected that as just too unselective; what if innocent people, such as his wife (wives) or children were killed? I understand, however, that he tried to use someone in his family, a wife or child, as a human shield. This ended up making Obama’s choice of a ground operation the most feasible. Someone showed on TV pictures of the reactions of those in the Situation Room who watched the raid by satellite as it was happening. The expressions were telling. Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta and other officials seemed to be showing horror, disbelief, things like that.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JI2MBY6SYRL5BH6QMLJKRMGURI N.

    Also, not skeptical re announcement that WW2 had ended. My God, have any of you people ever actually worked as reporters?