Verification was our topic in “Introduction to Journalism” this week at the University of Illinois. I told the students about a situation a former student had in which a person in line at a Campustown bar assumed another student’s name when he identified himself to her. After the story appeared on local television, the family of the “name” demanded an apology — and got one.
Most reporters don’t ask for a photo I.D. when interviewing people out in public. Maybe we should. The New York Times appears to have been badly stung — unverifiable names and a misspelling all in the same story. Here’s the link: For College Students, Social Media Tops the Bar Scene – NYTimes.com.