"60 Minutes" and the Benghazi Scandal Trap (Ethical Issues (My…
"60 Minutes" and the Benghazi Scandal Trap
In many instances, especially in regards to breaking news, reporters and pundits alike feel compelled to report whatever the scoop may be versus the reality.
False reporting led to not only a misinformed public, but it directly affected the way members of Congress reacted. This trail of misinformation only encouraged conspiracy theorists but also undermined United States National Security agencies.
Claimed a year of work went into story but lack of factual information disputes that statement
I think this article presented a wide array of ethical issues. What struck me as a big issue was the failure of the involved parties to genuinely rescind their story instead of making excuses as to why they preceded to air a story with startling inconsistencies.
While I think this false reporting was a huge issue, it is troubling to see that even now, years later, this same trend of the urgency to report whatever sticks to the wall as opposed to what is factual remains. Arguably, many reporters have not taken this incident as a lesson to report accurately, but instead as a reason why inaccurate reporting is not terribly harmful so long as you can apologize later if need be.
Perhaps in reporting this story with accurate facts, documentation, or even corroboration from a secondary source or reliable witness it would've introduced an alternate outcome.
An accurately reported story on the events that occurred on September 11th 2012 could have instead shed more light on the details of this tragic event.
Even a new report updating the inaccuracies of the original story could've lessened the blow to "60 Minutes" and its credibility.
As a primary source, Dylan Jones (later revealed to be Dylan Davies), was understandably a prime candidate for a credible and reliable story from the vantage point of reporter Lara Logan.
I absolutely agree with the author of this piece that the level of accountability as well as the honesty of those involved did a great disservice to not only 60 Minutes, but news reporting as a whole. This ideology is even applicable now as rumors and stories emerge with minimal vetting in order to create a lack of trust in our current administration. While freedom of the press is one of the most important amendments in our Constitution, false reporting is a detriment to not only the individual reporter or news outlet, but journalism as a whole. Integrity in journalism is one of the fews things that will keep the people genuinely and factually informed.
Location, Author, Date
Written by: Amy Davidson
Published on November 12th 2013
Appearing in The New Yorker magazine
If perhaps the line between research and reporting had been walked with more dignity, this story would've either never aired, or aired containing an accurate account
Perhaps by completing the amount of research a year's worth of investigative reporting should call for, this story could've been shared as a cautionary tale for not believing every account, while still reporting the story in Jones' words.