Your View: How We Covered the Katy Place Apartments Accident

3 years 9 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, October 23 2013 Oct 23, 2013 Wednesday, October 23, 2013 3:33:00 PM CDT October 23, 2013 in Your View
By: Tom Casselman, KOMU Reporter
loading

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
JEFFERSON CITY - The total solar eclipse lasted for only a few short minutes, but the anticipation of the rare... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri began classes Monday with the second highest retention rate in the university's history, according... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 3:27:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — Two men face felony charges after shots were fired at police during a vehicle pursuit in... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 1:55:15 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
CHILLCOTHE (AP) — Authorities are investigating after an officer was involved in a shooting in northern Missouri. The St.... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 1:43:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating after an off-duty officer was killed and a woman was wounded at... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 1:31:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
LEE'S SUMMIT (AP) — Police in suburban Kansas City are on the hunt for a man accused of stealing a... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 1:19:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorneys for a condemned Missouri inmate warn that the state is preparing to execute a potentially... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 12:51:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities in eastern Missouri's Iron County are investigating a shooting death in a rural area. Th... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 10:57:00 AM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
CAMDEN COUNTRY - The Camden County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help identifying two people who stole a... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 10:14:00 AM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Clouds dissipated enough for many people in mid-Missouri to get a good view of the total solar eclipse.... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 7:58:00 AM CDT August 21, 2017 in Eclipse Events
BOWLING GREEN (AP) — A rural northeast Missouri man is charged with fatally shooting his stepson. Pike County... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 6:53:54 AM CDT August 21, 2017 in Continuous News
SEDALIA - A trespasser was hit and killed by an Amtrak train near the Sedalia train station Sunday evening. ... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 5:52:00 AM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rural Missouri is preparing for its moment in the sun. Check that: Its moment out of... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 4:25:00 AM CDT August 21, 2017 in Continuous News
BOONE COUNTY - Columbia Police arrested Christopher Moore Sunday night after a standoff that began in the afternoon, according to... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 11:39:00 PM CDT August 20, 2017 in Continuous News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - While many people are preparing to look into the sky for the eclipse Monday, one airport is... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 6:01:00 PM CDT August 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a total solar eclipse drew people to Jefferson City over the weekend... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 5:55:00 PM CDT August 20, 2017 in News
FERGUSON (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker who temporarily posted a Facebook comment expressing hope that President Donald Trump would be... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT August 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The total solar eclipse is coming on the fifth day of school, and Columbia teachers are trying to... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 2:38:00 PM CDT August 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 88°
5pm 86°
6pm 85°
7pm 84°
8pm 81°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:30p
Jeopardy!
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
4:30p
The Cleveland Show
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Midnight, Texas
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Hooten & the Lady
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld