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Should TV News Have On-Air Fact Checkers?

controlroom_304x200On the heels of CBS News and NBC News misidentifying the Navy Yard shooter, USA Today‘s Rem Rieder argues television news should take a cue from ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” and employ on-air fact checkers:

Television has never been very good at pointing out its errors. Newspapers generally have corrections sections. Many news websites will not only correct mistakes in copy, they will also note that the original version was incorrect. But TV news has been a laggard when it comes to setting the record straight.

And the idea of pointing out the mistakes on the program where they took place is perfect for the digital age. While newspapers have to wait until the following day to run their corrections, websites can and should fix mistakes as soon as they’re discovered.

As [ESPN's Tony] Kornheiser says, “If you get something wrong, you ought to correct it right on the spot.” After all, if you don’t, others will. When news outlets make mistakes, particularly on high-profile stories, you can be sure that many readers and viewers will take to Twitter to point them out.

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