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What Did the Press Get Wrong About Mumbai?

Slate ran a useful piece this week looking at all the mistakes the press made in its reporting on the Mumbai massacre. Inconsistencies involved the nationalities of the killers (some were British citizens?), the planning of the assault (did the attackers visit Mumbai to spy?), and the targets of the attacks (Americans and Brits, Mumbai's luxury hotels, or anyone and everyone?). The author even takes issue with the fact that multiple publications provided different spellings of the lone remaining gunman Kasab.

The thrust of the article is that newspapers and networks should at least "warn readers of the provisional nature of their hot breaking reports."

When a crisis strikes would you rather get information quickly and do the fact-checking yourself, or do you want the outlets to remind you that they're not 100 percent sure about their reports?


Join The Conversation
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
NYFashionista, maybe I used the wrong wording but that's what I meant my addressed. But again it took too long to take care of the situation. And the U.S. did a poor job as well the only difference is I'm a citizen of this country and I live here I have a voice and voting power to make this Country's just scary to think that not only am I possibly not safe "at home" but now travelling to certain countries is now even scarier than being in the heart of NYC.
NYFashionista NYFashionista 8 years
It didn't take 2 1/2 days for the situation to be addressed; but just for them to get it under control. This isn't the first attack India has faced. However, it is the first of its kind. Considering the "intial attack" was supposed to "kill 5,000 ppl" I think alot was done to prevent that from happening. However, that said, India did NOT respond as quickly as they should have and that is a mistake that they will hopefully learn from. Should a similiar attack occur in the future, hopefully they will send through the National guards IMMEDIATELY. There was a lot of criticism of the US for 9/11 in how they could have prevented it from happening, what they could have done better etc. In all honesty, with threats coming in everyday, it's very difficult to prepare for these situations, especially such a brutal and unexpected attack. The Dept of Homeland Security was only created after 9/11. I hope to see India respond in the same manner. Considering they've been dealing with terror attacks longer than most other nations, this should have happened ages ago. That said, the reaction seen from the people of India and the rest of the world, I believe (and hope), will change how India deals with these types of situations should they continue to occur in the future (although obviously I really hope they do not).
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
I don't think we can "blame the media" in this particular case,like everyone has already said this is breaking news, and some of the information they where getting from "victims" and "eye witness" as they where exiting a terrorist situation we can expect some error due to that fact. Also I would be more interested in seeing a post regarding why it took 2 1/2 days to get this situation addressed I mean really hostages for 2 1/2 days this make me worry about my safety if I was to ever travel to India.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I expect and understand there are mistakes, but I also think there should be a certain degree of accuracy. Like stephley said, it's the stupid stuff people remember long after it is over.
stephley stephley 8 years
Ha - I used to argue with bosses about this all the time! I think in a breaking story yes, keep repeating that the information is all over the place and you're checking as much as you can as you go, but can't vouch for the reliability of any of it immediately. So often the stupidest, most incendiary stuff stays with people looong after it's been proven wrong. A reporter once told me that if you want to know what's going this second, you watch cable news. If you want a clear idea of what happened yesterday, read a newspaper. If you want to know what the real story is, wait a couple years for the book.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I expect mistakes in reporting, when you have "sources" coming out of the walls it happens. I couldnt imagine what it was like "back in the day" without the internet, and media to correct those mistakes, when it was the paper and word of mouth and that was it!
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