Do psychics now pose just as big a threat to journalistic verification skills as social media?
There is a lovely coy line in this BBC report about the hoax call about mass graves in Texas last night:
“US police say there were no bodies found at a house in east Texas, where an anonymous caller claiming to be a psychic said there was a mass grave. US media earlier reported there were up to 30 dismembered bodies including children buried there.”
Just the US media reported it you say?
Well, a psychic tipped me off that if you had been lurking on the interwebs late last night, you might have spotted these two very British media outlets covering it. The breaking news strap on the BBC site in particular appears to carry absolutely no qualification of the headline...
It does demonstrate that the rush to get a story on air before it has been fully verified isn’t just something that happens when news is being broken on social media.