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Poynter: How false reports of Joe Paterno’s death were spread and debunked

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Shortly after WJLA.com published the news that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was in the hospital in serious condition, reports came across the Internet that he had died.

Joe Paterno. Photo: Allen Mock

Rather than publish that information -- without confirmation -- ABC7’s assignment editor and WJLA.com’s web editor held back until we could find out more.

Soon, the report came out that the family had denied that Paterno had died.

Jeff Sonderman, the Digital Media Fellow at The Poynter Institute and a former colleague of ours at TBD and WJLA.com, wrote an excellent piece about how the mistake was made and how it was soon corrected.

How false reports of Joe Paterno’s death were spread and debunked

 

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