March 2012 Archives

http://www.mndaily.com/2012/03/20/man-jumps-35-w


The Minnesota Daily was the first local news source to report on the man who jumped off the 35W bridge on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, there was a very obvious mistake in the article that was published the following morning. One sentence stated that the man was confirmed dead at the scene, but the following sentence refuted this by stating "Police are still searching for his body".

It is possible that the writers got different answers from different sources and never linked the contradiction. This kind of mistake was not only contradictory, but also careless. It didn't matter that the Daily reported first; the story lost credibility with this very prominent error.

The story was reported based on information from the Minneapolis police and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, as well as some eye witnesses that were at the scene.
At the end of of the story, the writers try to establish a trend by stating this was the second bridge-jumping incident in the past week. This was an important and newsworthy fact that should have been placed higher up in the story.

If I had covered this story, I would have sought direct quotes from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. The fact that this incident was the second of its kind in a week should have shaped the lede.

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