Scott Pelley's argument: Being first to break a story at the expense of accuracy


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
On Friday, Scott Pelley lashed out at his fellow journalists. In fact, the CBS anchor even called himself out on the carpet. The reason for his outcry? The desire to be first with the news story and then having that story turn out to be false.

View attachment 2341 Pelley was at Quinnipiac University, accepting the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award when he spoke out, saying in part, “This has been a bad few months for journalism. We’re getting the big stories wrong over and over again.”

The anchor called the practice of being first to break a story "vanity" and "self-conceit," continuing on to opine that this need was being chosen over the more prestigious model of making sure the facts and the story are right. He admitted point blank that he jumped on the bandwagon too early during the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting by airing the untrue fact that shooter Adam Lanza's mother was a teacher at the school where the event happened.

Just recently, there was a wreath of misreporting during the Boston Marathon explosion tragedy which several news outlets reporting a capture that hadn't happened. Other incidents have also made the news recently as well.

Friendly was a past president of CBS News and an avid advocate of freedom of speech. The award honors those who have been courageous and forthright in preserving First Amendment rights. Past honorees include Tom Brokaw, Charles Gibson, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, and Lesley Stahl.