Your View: How We Covered the Katy Place Apartments Accident

2 years 10 months 4 days ago October 23, 2013 Oct 23, 2013 Wednesday, October 23 2013 Wednesday, October 23, 2013 3:33:00 PM CDT in Your View
By: Tom Casselman, KOMU Reporter

COLUMBIA - On October 10th, KOMU reported that a construction worker who fell at Katy Place Apartments had died due to information from the Boone County Medical Examiner's Office.

But, that information was wrong, and KOMU corrected the mistake as soon as it found out. Despite running a correction once the Examiner's Office admitted its mistake, there were a number of complaints on Facebook concerning KOMU's coverage. One viewer thought KOMU could have made up the Medical Examiner's report.

"Seems to me that the Medical Examiners office would know if someone in Columbia had died or not," said Merrybeth Beahan. "Are you sure this wasn't a KOMU mistake?....wouldn't be the first time!"

KOMU's content manager, Matt Johnson, said people make mistakes all the time, even if they're reliable sources. 

"In this case, it was NOT a KOMU mistake," Johnson said. "I felt it was important that our viewers and readers understood that it was the medical examiner's office who got it wrong. And they make mistakes too, it's perfectly understandable that they would make a mistake, but that's why we attribute it to them."

Another viewer thought that the race to be first was part of the problem too.

"The race to be FIRST with sensational news = don't trust the station - and they ALL do it," said Jacob Halls.

While there is a timeliness element to reporting news stories, MU Journalism Professor Len Bruzzese felt some follow-up reporting would have helped, especially since KOMU wasn't the only news organization to report this incorrect information. In fact, Bruzzese said he saw five other  news organizations all reported the worker had died and attributed the information to the Medical Examiner's Office.

"Normal follow-up reporting, talking to the hospital, to family members, to employers, tends to flesh out the story more in time to air or to be published," said Bruzzese, who is also the Executive Director of the Association of Health Care Journalists. "And that's where, if there's problems, it often gets spotted."

Johnson said the reason KOMU did not pursue other avenues of information is because of the reliabilty of the source.

"There are certain sources which we consider reliable and there are other sources that we think are not reliable," Johnson said. "And in this case, the Medical Examiner's Office is one that is considered a reliable source; and unfortunately, even a reliable source will get information wrong."

Bruzzese thinks there could be a solution to the problem.

"I would urge several of the news organizations to sit down with the Medical Examiner's Office and perhaps the local hospitals, not to place blame, in this case, but to come up with fail-safe or safety net kinds of things that would avoid this kind of thing in the future," said Bruzzese.

So what do you think? Do you still think KOMU could have covered this better, or is this simply a mistake that anyone could have made? Let us know in the comments below.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Dogs and pet owners filled Stephens Lake Park Sunday for the fourth annual Pet Expo. The proceeds... More >>
9 hours ago August 27, 2016 Aug 27, 2016 Saturday, August 27 2016 Saturday, August 27, 2016 9:10:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Shakespeare's Pizza is officially back. The new building on the corner of Ninth and Elm street invited residents... More >>
14 hours ago August 27, 2016 Aug 27, 2016 Saturday, August 27 2016 Saturday, August 27, 2016 4:32:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY- Families in Cole County got to participate in a different kind of car show Saturday. Kids got... More >>
14 hours ago August 27, 2016 Aug 27, 2016 Saturday, August 27 2016 Saturday, August 27, 2016 4:19:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - More people are going to restaurants looking for a healthier menu. According to the National Restaurant Association... More >>
15 hours ago August 27, 2016 Aug 27, 2016 Saturday, August 27 2016 Saturday, August 27, 2016 3:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Two months after the Orlando shooting, people come together to support the 18th annual mid-Missouri Pride Festival on... More >>
16 hours ago August 27, 2016 Aug 27, 2016 Saturday, August 27 2016 Saturday, August 27, 2016 2:37:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
SUNRISE BEACH (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol said two men from Louisiana are missing and presumed drowned after... More >>
19 hours ago August 27, 2016 Aug 27, 2016 Saturday, August 27 2016 Saturday, August 27, 2016 11:41:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia residents had a colorful start to their Saturday. The Color Run Tropicolor was held in Cosmo Park... More >>
20 hours ago August 27, 2016 Aug 27, 2016 Saturday, August 27 2016 Saturday, August 27, 2016 10:43:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
CALLAWAY COUNTY - The Callaway County Sheriff's Office arrested a man accused of unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful possession... More >>
20 hours ago August 27, 2016 Aug 27, 2016 Saturday, August 27 2016 Saturday, August 27, 2016 10:27:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- Tick season doesn't end with the summer holidays. According to a Columbia veterinarian, Dr. Rebecca Markenson, tick season typically... More >>
1 day ago August 27, 2016 Aug 27, 2016 Saturday, August 27 2016 Saturday, August 27, 2016 6:20:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Starting Sunday, a new bill approved by the state Legistlature in May and signed by Gov. Jay Nixon... More >>
1 day ago August 27, 2016 Aug 27, 2016 Saturday, August 27 2016 Saturday, August 27, 2016 6:10:00 AM CDT in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Updated 4:19 Sergeant Scott White of the Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed divers recovered the... More >>
1 day ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 10:57:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One of several protesters charged after disruptions at a Kansas City rally for Republican presidential... More >>
1 day ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 7:29:49 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – iPhone and iPad users beware: Apple has announced a new security update after finding out hackers have taken... More >>
1 day ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 6:24:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Thousands of people will come together Saturday at the annual Mid-Missouri PrideFest, but this year's celebration will be... More >>
1 day ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 5:21:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Special Administrative Board has unanimously approved up to $1 million to eliminate lead contamination after... More >>
1 day ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 5:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A recently released national report shows some Columbia entrepreneurs are having a lot of success. Inc. Magazine,... More >>
1 day ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 3:57:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Researchers at MU Sinclair School of Nursing and College of Engineering have come up with a way to... More >>
1 day ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 3:52:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools Board of Education agreed Thursday on a 57-cent property tax increase, following voter approval earlier... More >>
1 day ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 3:31:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
7am 72°
8am 74°
9am 78°
10am 81°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:30a
Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures
7:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
8:00a
Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist
6:30a
Paid Program
7:00a
Tomorrow's World with Roderick Meredith
7:30a
In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
NFL Preseason Football
7:00p
My Last Days
8:00p
My Last Days
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Cougar Town