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Heath Ledger Tragedy Reveals New World of 'Speed Reporting'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Heath Ledger Tragedy Reveals New World of 'Speed Reporting'

Article excerpt

Already the media have found at least two dozen angles to approach the sudden death of actor Heath Ledger in New York City today. The Los Angeles Times entertainment blog, Web Scout, used the occasion to look at the way the news emerged, almost in "real time."

The Times now reports on its site, pointing to the danger, "that preliminary reports that pills were found scattered around Ledger's body" were "inaccurate."

Here is part of the posting at www.latimes. com*

If you watched the story of Heath Ledger's death explode chaotically across the Internet, with facts, errors, inconsistencies and confusions flying every which way, you may have concluded that in the new digital media's race to break stories in minutes, accuracy has been left in the dust.

Chief among the media's switchbacks was the early non-fact that Ledger's death had taken place at the New York apartment of Mary-Kate Olsen. Celebrity news site TMZ.com and even the New York Times' City Room blog reported this piece of misinformation before they unreported it. …

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