Get it first, but first get it right. It's the mantra of many a journalist. But it seems we now need to tag on, "And make sure it's real."
Here's a quick recap of the week that wasn't:
Officials were outside of this one-story house in Hardin, Texas, on Tuesday
1) Texas mass murder scene discovered (untrue)
2) Blogger goes missing in Syria (authenticity doubted)
3) Syrian ambassador to France resigns (apparent impersonation)
4) Woman tattoos 152 Facebook friends on arm (publicity stunt)
These stories illustrate the difficulties facing today's news gatherers and news consumers. Technology lets us all get information quickly... almost instantly. But sometimes, you just need to pause and think for a moment.