Reporters, professors, and Lt. Paul Vance gathered at the University of Connecticut two weeks ago to discuss the role of accuracy, respect, and social media in the coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
The timing of the panel couldn’t have been more relevant following a week of reporting on the Boston Marathon bombing, which included CNN misreporting that a suspect was in custody April 17 when that was not the case.
In Newtown, where 20 children, and 6 educators were shot by a gunman Dec. 14, there was information being reported by numerous new outlets during the first few hours following the event that turned out to be inaccurate.
“There was a lot of misinformation,” Bill Leukhardt, a Hartford Courant reporter and stepfather of slain Sandy Hook teacher Lauren Rousseau, said. “Adam Lanza was there because he shot his mother who was a teacher, that wasn’t true. There were multiple shooters, maybe a second person with a gun on the scene, that wasn’t true.”