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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cat Tracks April 22


    Trending Up

    Patriotism: After the capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, patriotism is running rampant across the country right now. In times of tragedy there are two possible responses: to run away or to stand united. From the Yankees playing “Sweet Caroline” as a tribute to Boston, to the videos of people on the streets cheering on the Boston Police Department and to David Ortiz saying, “This is our fucking city,” at the first game back at Fenway Park, it is clear that the city of Boston, and the country, has chosen the latter option. Unfortunately, the mass patriotism won’t last very long. Eventually people will return back to normal, but seeing the Boston Police Department rise to the occasion has been beneficial to the country and an inspiration to all.

    Internet Vigilantism: As soon as pictures of the Boston bombings were posted, online communities like Reddit and 4Chan were full of Internet vigilantes trying to “help” the FBI by scouring through pictures to find the bomber. This led to innocent people being accused as suspects. For example, multiple users on Reddit attempted to tie Sunil Tripathi, a missing student from Brown University, to the bombings. Tripathi is still missing, and the FBI has not indicated that he has anything to do with the bombings. While it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and want to help, the sleuthing should be left to the professionals. The FBI has a lot more information than the average person, making it very difficult for the conclusions that a redditor draws, without all the facts, to be correct.

    Trending Down

    Broadcast Media: With all of the breaking news events that happened over the course of last week, Twitter solidified itself as a major player in media. Many were turning to Twitter, rather than the news stations, to get up-to-date and reliable information. This calls into question the usefulness of 24-hour news stations. The only content that couldn’t be found on Twitter were interviews with “experts” that many times were just people that somehow knew the suspects, like the Harvard boxing coach who watched one of them fight. While moving images on the screen are nice, you can’t help but wonder how long it will be until Twitter puts broadcast news out of business.

    Reliable news: Caught up in all the excitement last week, multiple news sources, like CNN, reported incorrect information. People were saying that four bombs went off, not two, or that the JFK library in Boston had been targeted. While some media outlets could be commended for recommending caution with all the information that came out, the rush to ignore accuracy in order to release information first is unacceptable in the news industry. Accuracy should trump speed every single time. News outlets are feeling the heat and their reliability is being called into question. So long as ratings and speed are more important than accuracy, the news industry will continue to flounder. When journalists aren’t accurate, they are no more reliable than Internet vigilantes. With journalists, a reputation for reliability is everything.

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