Deserved diligence in the media

Published 5:33 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Between the still-fresh local and national elections and a recent address made by Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney, it’s pertinent to look at exactly how news is consumed.

The Washington Daily News prides itself in responsible journalism. The staff is thorough in its reporting so as to provide Beaufort County with the most fair and comprehensive news possible.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with news outlets across the board. Websites like and dove into how Facebook’s algorithm for what is “trending” handles news. They both arrived at the conclusion that fake news — or at least exaggerated reports — were much more viral than actual well-investigated news.

Of course, anyone who has ever logged into Facebook could have figured that out.

The concept was brought back to the forefront — this time in the sports media realm — earlier this week. Swinney, who directs the Atlantic Coast Conference championship-contending Tigers, shredded the media during a press conference.

In essence, he said it was “a shame” that the media took and ran with a single South Carolina player reporting a racial slur directed at him by a Clemson player.

It was a shame, at least right after Clemson’s 56-7 drubbing of the Gamecocks. Many headlines were dedicated to the supposed racial slur during the game, and some journalists ran with the one report before giving the issue the follow-up research it’s due.

Other South Carolina players have come forward in interviews and on social media to support the claim. Whether it’s true is a different issue, but journalists have to be diligent in their reporting. They have to be focused on reporting a complete story rather than trying to get a flashy headline.

The media is central to this, and the Daily News will continue to do its best in comprehensive reporting. Those that consume media are important, too. More due diligence in choosing responsible outlets over catchy headlines will go a long way in holding the media accountable.