CBS anchor Pelley: Journalism's house is on fire - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

CBS anchor Pelley: Journalism's house is on fire

Posted: Updated:
In this photo released by CBS, "CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley, is shown. Pelley says a recent rash of mistakes shows journalism's house is on fire. (AP) In this photo released by CBS, "CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley, is shown. Pelley says a recent rash of mistakes shows journalism's house is on fire. (AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Top CBS News anchor Scott Pelley delivered a tongue-lashing to fellow journalists on Friday, urging them to worry less about the "vanity" of being first on a story and more about being right.

"This has been a bad few months for journalism," Pelley said. "We're getting the big stories wrong over and over again."

The "CBS Evening News" anchor made the criticism while accepting a journalism award named for broadcast executive Fred Friendly from Quinnipiac University. He didn't exempt himself, noting that during early reporting of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre last December he mistakenly reported that shooter Adam Lanza's mother was a teacher in the school.

Media organizations were roundly criticized for falsely reporting an arrest of a Boston Marathon bombing suspect two days after the April 15 attack. Stories and pictures spread quickly on social media websites erroneously suggesting some people on the scene were suspects, and the images were used by some news organizations.

"In a world where everybody is a publisher, no one is an editor," Pelley said, "and we've arrived at the point today."

Twitter, Facebook and Reddit are "not journalism," he said. "That's gossip. Journalism was invented as an antidote to gossip."

He repeated a maxim heard often in newsrooms recently: "If you're first, no one will ever remember. If you're wrong, no one will ever forget."

The race to be first on stories is "vanity," he said. "It's self-conceit. We do it to make ourselves feel better."

Media critic Howard Kurtz apologized this week on his CNN show, "Reliable Sources," for messing up a story about NBA player Jason Collins and was sharply criticized by other media critics on the air.

Kurtz had written that Collins, who made headlines by being the first active player in one of the four major U.S. pro sports leagues to come out as gay, had hidden a previous engagement to a woman in his announcement. In fact, Collins revealed the engagement in his first-person Sports Illustrated story and in a subsequent ABC interview.

Kurtz's story was published on The Daily Beast website, which subsequently parted ways with Kurtz in a decision he said was long in the works. Kurtz said the story was riddled with errors and shouldn't have been written in the first place.

CNN chief executive Jeff Zucker said on Friday that he was comfortable with Kurtz's apology and had no plans to replace him on the weekly media criticism show.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • Michael Buble shuts down rumors of retirement from music

    Michael Buble shuts down rumors of retirement from music

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 5:28 PM EDT2018-10-17 21:28:30 GMT
    Wednesday, October 17 2018 11:49 PM EDT2018-10-18 03:49:09 GMT
    (Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press via AP, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 file photo,Canadian singer Michael Buble poses for a photo to promote the upcoming Oct. 21 release of his new album "Nobody But Me" in Toronto. Grammy-winning singer ...(Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press via AP, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 file photo,Canadian singer Michael Buble poses for a photo to promote the upcoming Oct. 21 release of his new album "Nobody But Me" in Toronto. Grammy-winning singer ...
    Grammy-winning singer Michael Buble is shutting down rumors that he's going to retire, saying he was misquoted in a recent interview. 
    Grammy-winning singer Michael Buble is shutting down rumors that he's going to retire, saying he was misquoted in a recent interview. 
  • Film of Judy Blume's 'Are You There God?...' in development

    Film of Judy Blume's 'Are You There God?...' in development

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 7:38 PM EDT2018-10-17 23:38:24 GMT
    Wednesday, October 17 2018 11:49 PM EDT2018-10-18 03:49:02 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File). FILE - In this May 31, 2015, photo, author Judy Blume speaks about her new book, "In the Unlikely Event," her first novel for adults in 17 years, at BookCon in New York. “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and Hollywo...(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File). FILE - In this May 31, 2015, photo, author Judy Blume speaks about her new book, "In the Unlikely Event," her first novel for adults in 17 years, at BookCon in New York. “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and Hollywo...
    Film adaptation of Judy Blume's 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret' in development. 
    Film adaptation of Judy Blume's 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret' in development. 
  • Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis canceled after tax case

    Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis canceled after tax case

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 6:58 AM EDT2018-10-17 10:58:12 GMT
    Wednesday, October 17 2018 11:49 PM EDT2018-10-18 03:49:00 GMT
    (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File). FILE - In this May 24, 2017, file photo, Chinese actress Fan Bingbing poses for photographers as she arrives for the screening of the film The Beguiled at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France. T...(AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File). FILE - In this May 24, 2017, file photo, Chinese actress Fan Bingbing poses for photographers as she arrives for the screening of the film The Beguiled at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France. T...
    The director of the film "Air Strike," featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, says the film's release has been canceled in the wake of her disappearance and conviction on tax evasion charges. 
    The director of the film "Air Strike," featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, says the film's release has been canceled in the wake of her disappearance and conviction on tax evasion charges. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.