Google, Your Tea Kettle, and the Destruction of Planet Earth

By Amy McDougall, SpinSpotter Community Manager

It would be an understatement to say that journalists are strapped for time and resources. I read about their fight for survival every day in places like Publishing2.0, EatSleepPublish, and The Knight Digital Media Center’s Online Journalism Review. And, as one who studied print journalism in college and has worked at a few news organizations over the years, I’ve seen what the pressure to pump out stories and fill column space can do to journalists. It’s not pretty.

But hiding conflicts of interest? Putting words in the mouths of your sources? Relying on one “expert” source to be the backbone of your story? Making leaps to associate Google, a tea kettle, and the destruction of our planet? News flash: Generating hype based on bad research is NOT OK, people.

In case you missed it, check out the original Times of London piece, and then a TechCrunch article that debunks the parts that needed debunking.

Wouldn’t you agree that stories like these only confirm our critical need for media watchdogs, fact-checkers, and SpinSpotters? I mean, if we turn our heads and let inaccuracies infest the Web, our planet may not combust, but our heads certainly might.


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