Let's face it. We live in a day and age where everyone can potentially be a journalist if they have a computer and access to the Internet. Remember that old saying, "Don't believe everything that you see on TV"? Well, the same thing applies to other forms of media, especially the Internet, since the filter is not as fine. How do you know if information you read is legit? Well, for starters, you tend to build trust in certain sites — and those are the places you either seek the news or verifiy news that you've read elsewhere. However, sometimes reputable news sources get duped, which is what happened to Engadget last week. Take a look at the story as presented by CNET Networks' News.com: "Welcome to the era of gullibility 2.0."
Here's the lowdown:
Last week's fake iPhone news was a wakeup call for a public now fixated on the Web for scoops, leaks and gossip.Bottom line:
The ultra-fast, competitive nature of online reporting and publishing is here to stay, and that means readers need to adapt and be aware of the circumstances.
For additional spins on this story, check out these news sources:
- Apple's Cabbage Patch doll (TechRepublic | News.com)
- Memo sent to Engadget drops Apple stock price (Monsters andCritics)
- TechGear: Did Engadget hurt Apple? (Computerworld)
In my honest opinion, it's going to be increasingly difficult for online media to make sure all of the information that's disseminated over the Web is accurate, especially for news sites that thrive on "breaking" news. In the ultimate rush to be one of the first sources to cover juicy tidbits, reliability takes the back seat. It isn't until a story crashes that this reality truly become clear.
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.