What are the key takeaways from media's Boston coverage?

While covering the Boston explosions and manhunt last week, journalists became part of the story. They did an admirable job covering many aspects of the tragedy, but they also made mistakes that caused confusion and led to widespread criticism.

The tragedy created journalistic challenges -- balancing speed v. accuracy, deciding how to deal with graphic images and verifying eyewitness accounts posted on social media.

During three, one-hour-long Google+ Hangouts, we addressed these challenges. Poynter faculty members chatted with journalists -- some of whom covered the Boston tragedy -- about how the media can improve their coverage of future breaking news stories.

You can watch the Google+ Hangouts below:

Here was the lineup:

"Why are so many news organizations struggling with accuracy during breaking news?" Led by Al Tompkins with:

  • Sean Kelly, reporter for Boston's WCVB-TV
  • Ali Veschi, reporter and anchor, Al Jazeera America
  • Aaron Brown, Arizona State University journalism professor and former CNN anchor

"What are the best standards for dealing with horrific images?" Led by Kenny Irby with:

"How do citizens best participate in the gathering and distribution of news?" Led by Kelly McBride with:

Related training: Poynter Reporters Academy, May 21-24 | Editing 2013: How to Wear Five Hats and Suceed, June 9-14 | Don't Get Fooled Again: Best Practices for Online Verification, a NewsU Webinar replay, available now online.

  • Mallary Jean Tenore

    As managing editor of The Poynter Institute’s website, Poynter.org, I report on the media news industry, edit the site’s How To section, and moderate the site's live chats. I also help handle the site's social media efforts, and teach social media sessions on the side.


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