With the 24/7 news cycle and our penchant for wanting to know what’s going on at all times, sometimes news sites and gossip blogs report stories before the facts are in.

CNN and Fox News were both chided when they mistakenly reported that the Affordable Care Act was struck down by the Supreme Court, and it seems as though powerhouse gossip site TMZ has been forced to retract one of their most popular stories.

For the past few weeks, we’ve watched as the Jackson family has seemed to come apart at the seams. Throughout it all, TMZ has been front and center, reporting on every squabble and dramatic detail.

One of the most sensational stories to pour out of the Jackson ordeal was an alleged confrontation between Janet and her niece Paris. According to TMZ Janet and Paris got into an altercation, which ended in Paris getting slapped by her aunt. But apparently, that didn’t happen.

After a lawyer for Janet Jackson stopped by “The Insider” and threatened legal action against TMZ, the site retracted the story, saying it was untrue.

TMZ explained their “mistake”:

“Although we believed the story to be true when we published it, we have now determined it was not correct … Janet did not slap or otherwise touch Paris, nor did she verbally abuse her.”

This latest retraction got me to thinking. Is this the future of our news? As publications vie out do their competitors and be the first to report on stories, will we see more and more false stories and retractions?

While I understand the need to be first, there’s also something to be said about making sure you have all of the facts before running with a story, especially if you have a massive platform like TMZ or CNN.

*Photo via Reuters

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  • gmarie

    It’s not just the future of our news it is the NOW. I’ve lost count on the number of news stories I’ve seen run on my local networks where twitter is used as a source. Even Huffington Post uses mediatakeout for their urban celeb stories. Journalism has gotten lazy. It seems no one is really investigating. I should not be surprised by tmz, but this is truly sad

    • Blasè

      so true…

      the worst is twitter isn’t just a source but the tweet is the news story. Journos seem to not pursue stories anymore but rather sit on their computers looking for tweets to cut and paste and attache their byline to.

  • JN

    Just yesterday or the day before, the NYTimes published a piece on how the pressure to get news out as fast as possible correlates with the decrease in the veracity of said news pieces. And people accept it. By the time even some people question a story, it has been reblogged and rehashed many times on different sites and blogs.

  • Tanya

    Honestly, though, if the little girl was tweeting her family’s business, a slap back into reality might have been appropriate whether it happened or not. Just sayin’!