In college I was on a bus that hit a man on a street. I was in the second row watching as the man hit the side of the bus, and felt like he went under a tire. It was a terrifying moment in my life. In that moment I was sure that he had died, and to this day I’m not sure if he lived. We sat on the bus, as some students ran to the front hoping to help. I can remember thinking what were they going to do for him? CPR as he bleeds out? I called 911, and a few others did.
We weren’t allowed off the bus, and the body was behind us a ways. We stayed on as reports were filled out, and police began to escort us to another campus bus. The man was transported to the hospital, and that was that. During the three hours that we sat there the news crew that pulled up stayed for only 20 minutes.
20 minutes to take some photos, ask questions to some people who were not police, and climb back into their van off to the next story. Each station had a fleet of vans on standby monitoring for any hint of a story. I don’t blame them it’s the nature of the beast. The first to release the story is the first to make the money.
What I do have a problem with is that they got the details of the story wrong. Three stories came out. The first was the man was at a crosswalk, second he was on a bike, third he was actually a she. All three news stories of the events were wrong. It was a man who illegally crossed the street without a bike, and was hit by a bus.
Information in the digital age is fast, and at first appears to be accurate. Everyone has a perspective about an event, and when perspective fits our bias we like it even more. Four people can witness the same event, and come away with different stories of how that event played out. What that means for our news in the digital age is that anything at any time could be fake news. There isn’t one perspective, and news stations get information as a secondary source from those that experience the story. It takes multiple sources to get even a glimpse at the truth of the story.
Its important to take time to reflect on the source of information, and take it with a grain of salt.