Finding Trusted News

The Pressure to Be the TV News Leader Tarnishes a Big Brand

Reporter David Carr:

Still, when big news breaks, we instinctively look to CNN. We want CNN to be good, to be worthy of its moment. That impulse took a beating last week. On Wednesday at 1:45 p.m., the correspondent John King reported that a suspect had been arrested. It was a big scoop that turned out to be false.

In one of the most defining moments of the #BostonExplosion story — CNN blew it, while the world watched. It was not alone:

Mr. King, a good reporter in possession of a bad set of facts, was joined by The AP, Fox News, The Boston Globe and others, but the stumble could not have come at a worse time for CNN. When viewers arrived in droves – the audience tripled to 1.05 million, from 365,000 the week before, according to Nielsen ratings supplied by Horizon Media – CNN failed in its core mission.

This is now a case study.

Not totally, “How Mr. King failed (he did).”

More, “Communicating in a new media world.”

Crisis communications tests the best. Failure is not an option.

I need to trust you, when “it” goes down.

Yet, during this crisis, big news outlets failed me. Over and over.

The “King” failed.

So, is your news team is up to a crisis, beforehand?

I know big, worldwide crises from inside and outside.

I already know, you’re not ready.

Down deep, your team, lacking the resources of a CNN, knows it, too.

Trust me. Just ask them.

Bottom Line: Now is the time to be ready for “next.”

You need a plan, the right people on the bus, training and execution.

The stakes are as high as a business will ever face.

Your reputation is on the line.

Trust is about getting it right.

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