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Before Criticizing a News Story Online: Get the Full Scoop

By on Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Associated Press reporter Michael Biesecker’s story earlier this month about three slain National Guard troops caught some heat from online comment posters, who noted that a spouse was listed for the two males who died, but not the female soldier who died. Some alleged homophobism, as the fallen female soldier left behind a wife.

When contacted on Twitter by an angry reader, Biesecker responded: ‘Story was written 2 days before family statement confirming SSgt. [sic] Johnson had a wife. Check date before assuming,’ 

The AP updated the story after the family statement confirmed the information. Great lesson for those who want to get blustery online – do some research. The media can only report the news they have available to them. Read the story about the controversy in the Daily Mail.

Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, a virtual and independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media advice, writing services, and creative design work for publications and websites (portfolio). Ami blogs frequently about media relations, social media, public relations and other issues. She also reviews books on her blog about public relations, nonprofit life, work-family balance and social media practice. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.

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