Immediacy vs. Accuracy

By Eric Zanzucchi (@ericzanzucchi)

Monday morning there were reports out of College Station, Texas that there was another spree killer who had shot multiple people. Obviously it takes time to get all the details correct. It can’t expected that within an hour of the incident that all news sources will have all the details. But it seems like any detail it these situations no matter how minute or factual is reportable.

I read two separate articles on the Texas A&M incident only minutes apart, and this was from major news sources (So major that they could have me eliminated if it came to that. So major they could have my fingerprints burned off and my teeth be pulled so as avoid identification of my corpse. So major that they could fly my corpse over the Arctic Circle by helicopter and drop my frozen ass in the ice. So major that they can afford to replace me with a wise cracking robot that looks exactly like me and is capable of performing my job tasks, paying my bills, and interacting with my friends and family.). One report stated that the subject was in custody and the other said that the subject was shot dead.

I know there were very few people reading these early false reports, but how much does accuracy even matter? The source that incorrectly provided information will not lose eyeballs as a result of this. Shouldn’t I just make stuff up right now? I guess I sort of did by implying that this major news source might eliminate their critics.

In a sense it doesn’t matter. It’s simply a function of technology. People today demand immediacy at all costs. As much as I just complained, I’m not going to buy a newspaper tomorrow to figure out what really happened today.