Before anybody gets too excited about the Daily Beast reporting that Charles Gibson is “livid” about Diane Sawyer succeeding him, let’s remember reporter Rebecca Dana’s last major TV news-related “scoop.”
During her tenure at the Wall Street Journal, Dana reported — back in April 2008 — that Katie Couric would likely part ways with CBS before that year was over. That story, too, was based on an anonymous source, and last I checked, Couric is still anchoring “The CBS Evening News.”
This isn’t meant to pick on Dana, only to point out that there is a rather irritating trend lately — especially among some younger reporters — of not wanting to let the facts get in the way of a good story, or at least taking the time to see if they actually pan out. Because of the pressure to feed the web, stories are rushed into circulation, and a headline like “Gibson’s livid” is sure to be picked up elsewhere, whether it’s true or not. (In this case, that aspect of the story doesn’t appear to pass the smell test, based on all the other coverage I’ve read.)
Although the pace of journalism has forever changed, that shouldn’t change the fundamentals. Yet the bottom line is that “get it first” appears to be taking precedence over getting it right.
But hey, the Beast got itself a Huffington Post link trumpeting the headline, and that means circulation, baby. As for the accuracy of it, well, we can always sort that out later, right?