OLD Media Moves

Let's get to the bottom of the United Airlines snafu

September 8, 2008

Robert Reed, a longtime business journalist who has co-authored a textbook on the field, writes on the Huffington Post Monday that he wants to know how a six-year-old story about United Airlines in bankruptcy court protection was able to make it back online on a newspaper’s Web site.

Robert ReedReed writes, “I’m not talking witch hunt or publicly pillaging some content producer who didn’t know any better. Nor is this meant to sound sanctimonious. Having been in business journalism for a long while, I know bad things can happen to anyone at any time.

“But let’s not be too empathetic. With millions of dollars at stake — along with the Tribune Co.’s credibility — everyone linked to this faulty process should be called on the carpet. At the very least, TribCo web producers should be put on notice about being extra careful when handling reports of bankruptcy, bank failures or issues pertaining to the solvency of a business.

“TribCo.’s not alone. Bloomberg needs to question its decision to pick up a bankruptcy report on a Chicago-based airline from a Florida newspaper’s web site. That’s the type of story that should ring alarm bells, no? But I can speak from experience and say Bloomberg takes its relationship with users very seriously, so expect some quick corrective action there.”

Read more here.

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