CBS News anchor Scott Pelley admitted that the mainstream press has been doing bad reporting on big stories of late, and he partly blames social media.
Pelley spoke at a luncheon on Friday as he was honored with the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award from the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University, reports Newsbusters.org.
Pelley described American journalism as the best in the world, but added that the house built by Fred Friendly, A.O Sulzberger, Harrison Sulzberry and Ida Tarbell is on fire.
"These have been a bad few months for journalism," he told the group. "We're getting the big stories wrong, over and over again."
Pelley said he was willing to take the first arrow. In reporting the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, he made the decision to use unverified information that the shooter's mother was a teacher at the school and that he had shot up her classroom.
"It's a hell of a story," he said, "but it was dead wrong."
Pelley blamed the major media for following the lead of Twitter and Facebook in trying to get stories first, rather than making sure they are accurate. He cited the Boston Marathon bombings in which "amateur journalists became digital vigilantes," naming innocent people as suspects.
"Maybe a touch of humility would serve us better, and serve the public better as well," Pelley said.
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