Local, National Media Miss the Mark on Marathon Investigation

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People are hardly surprised by media outlets that, in the race to be first, run with incorrect breaking news.

The New York Times calls out CNN, Fox News, “several local Boston stations,” the Boston Globe and the AP for erroneously reporting on the progress of the investigation for the suspect(s) in the Boston Marathon bombing.

In fact, the FBI issued a statement, scolding the media outlets:

“Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.”  

The AP notes that ABC, CBS and NBC broke in yesterday with an update on the case, but did not say that an arrest had been made. The AP also stated that it and the Globe “said a suspect had been taken into custody,” but did not say one was arrested.

Here’s what I saw on the Boston TV station websites at 2:50 p.m. yesterday:

WFXT (Fox): Reports: Arrest made in Marathon bombings

WHDH (NBC): BPD: No arrest made yet

WBZ (CBS): Possible Suspect Identified

WCVB (ABC): Boston Police: No Arrest in Boston Marathon bombing

And here’s what the newspapers said:

Globe: Authorities ID suspect in marathon bombing

Herald: Marathon Bombing suspect arrested