Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NBC suspends Brian Williams for lying.

Brian Williams,a well-known reporter and anchor for NBC nightly news, was suspended from his nightly news broadcast for six months for lying about being in a helicopter that was shot down in Iraq. He instead was in a helicopter that wasn't fire upon and was about an hour behind the helicopter that was shot. Brian Williams claimed that he misremembered the facts. Most people however think he lied to  to further advance his career by enhancing his background.

Most people trust that the stories they hear on the news are accurate. The major news networks have been seen as a reliable source of information about the world around us. The internet has changed the way the world views news. Social media has also played an important role in bringing real time information about world events. But the internet has also allowed for news to be intermixed with entertainment.

Was NBC right in suspending Brian Williams for six months? 

Brian Wilson also had received awards for his reporting on Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami disaster. Should we question the accuracy of those reports now that we know he lied about Iraq?

Are the traditional news sources, especially the network work news becoming less important in the internet age?
How should we get our news and what can be done to ensure fair and accurate reporting?

1 comment:

Valerie Chen said...

I think that in light of the scandal, suspending Williams was probably less of a choice for NBC than a necessity to protect its reputation as a news source.

While I think that traditional news sources are getting a lot of competition from internet news outlets, something that differentiates network news from most online news is that the network hosts (like Williams) become extremely familiar to their viewership and can turn into some form of a celebrity. Whether or not Brian Williams was intentionally lying or just not thinking at that moment and misspoke, he probably just wanted to seem like a bit more of a hero to the people tuning in. I think celebrity reporting defeats the purpose of news reporting; the reporter is supposed to fade into the background and let the content of the news do the talking.