Attention News Media!
Let me help you out here! Some free advice!
When you’re filing a story (industry term) about some sort of supposedly newsworthy event, include a little something called details.
Here’s a piece titled “The Onion Apologizes for Tweet About Quvenzhané Wallis” over on our sister site newyorktimes.com where they note that “an obscene reference” was made about the young actress. And over at our other sister site usatoday.com, they noted that the Onion issued an apology for a tasteless Twitter remark (which I understand is called a “Tweet”) with the headline news that “‘The Onion issues apology for tasteless Twitter remark.”
Neither story mentioned exactly what was so offensive (though to be fair, USA Today eventually added a link to another story filed a few minutes earlier that spelled it out, or at least gave us the first letter:
If your news organization is touting something as news, have the editorial courage of your convictions to print the actual details of the story rather than make oblique references to it. The entire story here begins and ends with the dreaded c-word, and to paraphrase the Onion itself, everyone seems afraid to use it. (And yes, I realize the irony of me not including it here, but I’m brilliantly and insightfully commenting on the story, not reporting the news. Also, my grandmother reads this blog.)
Furthermore, if readers have to leave your site to do their own research elsewhere and find out what the goddamn story is, your news organization has failed at the one thing it’s supposed to do.
Nothing that happens on Twitter is ever news.