The Penn State student-run newspaper, Onward State, over the weekend wrongly reported that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno had died, leading CBS News and the Huffington Post to publish his obituary. Paterno, who died early Sunday morning, was still alive when Onward State “broke” the story. The managing editor of the student paper has since resigned while CBS and HuffPost have not yet taken laid the blame of the wrongly reported story.
This is not the first time such a big media outlet has made an error — remember NPR falsely reporting the death of Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords? Those who have put their faith in new media as a means of obtaining the news should be crying out for precautionary steps to be taken to avoid such a faux pas. Like fact-checking, for one.
Or they can simply rely on The Onion to report things the way they are: "Joe Paterno Dies In Hospital; Doctors Promise To Tell Their Superiors First Thing Tomorrow."