When it comes to heavyweights in Big Media, one would be hard-pressed to find a person heavier than CBS News anchor Scott Pelley. When Scott trashes the journalism profession, people should take notice.
Speaking at the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award dinner in New York, an event sponsored by Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University, Pelley told the assembled crowd of media luminaires that they are blowing it, big time.
"Never before in history has more information been available to more people, but at the same time, never before has more bad information available to more people," he said.
Pelley gave his own mea culpa for botching the Newton massacre story when he reported that the son of a teacher at the school was the shooter responsible for the slaughter. "It was a hell of a story, but it was dead wrong," he said.
The newsman went on to trash the media’s reliance on Twitter and Facebook as sources. He dismissed those sites as purveyors of gossip, which journalism is supposed to serve as an antidote to.
To Pelley, the social media's 24/7 world creates pressure on journalist to put speed above accuracy, which leads to inaccuracies.
He concluded his talk by warning that journalism’s “house is on fire,” begging the question: Who is going to put out the flames and work to restore trust in media.