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CNN, FNC Report Ohio Congresswoman Had Died, When She Hasn’t

CNN_Jones_8.20.jpgJust after 2pmET CNN and Fox News reported the death of Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. But less than a half hour later, the networks carried a news conference which reported Tubbs Jones was still alive.

CNN was the first of the cable networks to report the death at 2:03pmET, sourcing the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Fox News reported the news at 2:08pmET. Both networks later had lower third graphics claiming their networks had individually confirmed the story.

But at 2:31pm family friend Joe Hewitt announced, “at the present time Stephanie is in critical condition.” Both networks carried that news live, and quickly corrected their graphics. Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum added, “this is a very confusing story, as we mentioned moments ago, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the local papers in Cleveland all reporting what we then believed to have confirmed which was the passing of Stephanie Tubbs Jones.”

As for MSNBC, in a live news update during the U.S.-Japan baseball game at 2:11pmET, the network reported that Tubbs Jones was still hospitalized.

Tubbs Jones was found unconscious behind the wheel of her car last night. She’d had an aneurysm and was rushed to a Cleveland hospital where she was put on life support.

FNC_Jones_8.20.jpg

So here’s the question: Does a network confirmation really mean confirmation? Or does it mean “the local paper says so, so it must be true.”

> More: FishbowlDC’s Patrick Gavin writes the cable networks were not alone. The AP and several DC publications reported the news erroneously too. Also, after the jump, how one NBC News entity did get it wrong.

> Update: At 6:40pmET tonight, Tubbs Jones’ family announced the five-term congresswoman died at 6:12pmET.
CNN_Jones_8.20.jpgJust after 2pmET CNN and Fox News reported the death of Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. But less than a half hour later, the networks carried a news conference which reported Tubbs Jones was still alive.

CNN was the first of the cable networks to report the death at 2:03pmET, sourcing the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Fox News reported the news at 2:08pmET. Both networks later had lower third graphics claiming their networks had individually confirmed the story.

But at 2:31pm family friend Joe Hewitt announced, “at the present time Stephanie is in critical condition.” Both networks carried that news live, and quickly corrected their graphics. Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum added, “this is a very confusing story, as we mentioned moments ago, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the local papers in Cleveland all reporting what we then believed to have confirmed which was the passing of Stephanie Tubbs Jones.”

As for MSNBC, in a live news update during the U.S.-Japan baseball game at 2:11pmET, the network reported that Tubbs Jones was still hospitalized.

Tubbs Jones was found unconscious behind the wheel of her car last night. She’d had an aneurysm and was rushed to a Cleveland hospital where she was put on life support.

FNC_Jones_8.20.jpg

So here’s the question: Does a network confirmation really mean confirmation? Or does it mean “the local paper says so, so it must be true.”

> More: FishbowlDC’s Patrick Gavin writes the cable networks were not alone. The AP and several DC publications reported the news erroneously too. Also, after the jump, how one NBC News entity did get it wrong.

> Update: At 6:40pmET tonight, Tubbs Jones’ family announced the five-term congresswoman died at 6:12pmET.


——– Original Message ——–
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: msnbc.com – BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs
Jones (D-Ohio) dies after brain aneurysm
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 11:25:58 -0700
From: MSNBC Breaking News

msnbc.com: BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) dies after brain aneurysm

Find out more at http://breakingnews.msnbc.com

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