Tonawanda News

Columns

April 10, 2014

WALLACE: Airplane coverage has gone awry

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Reports of possible debris spotted or pings heard from under water have made the wait a roller coaster ride for the distraught families. This coupled with the television news stations announcing “Breaking News” for every possible lead or press conference has made the search an agonizing wait for the relatives and loved ones of the passengers who are already going through so much. 

A “Breaking News” header is something that should only be used when there is something actually new and concrete to report.

CNN has had correspondent Martin Savidge reporting from the cockpit of a flight simulator nearly as long as the plane has been missing. There is even a hashtag to #freemartinsavidge trending on Twitter.

To many it seems impossible in this day and age, with all the technology we have available, to lose a Boeing 777 with more than 200 people on board. But here we are a month later and still no actual evidence of the plane’s fate.

However, that hasn’t stopped the media from putting on expert after expert to speculate, ad nauseam, about the possible causes of why the plane went missing and where it might be located.

I understand that it is the job of the media to relay information to the public but the key word there is information — facts — not theories based on nothing.

All this speculation is doing more harm than good by creating a mistrust of the media and the sheer amount of coverage is causing the public to become desensitized to the tragedy. 

Until actual evidence is found, no one can say with any level of certainty what happened to MH370. 

For these media outlets to continue to speculate based on hearsay and jump to conclusions based on rumor is irresponsible journalism.

Amy Wallace is the city editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact her at amy.wallace@tonawanda-news.com.

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