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Television Faculty Member Steve Voorhees Publishes in Electronic News


West Windsor, N.J.An article by Mercer County Community College Television Program faculty member Steve Voorhees was published in the current edition of the peer-reviewed journal Electronic News.  Voorhees co-authored it with Susan Keith, a Journalism and Media Studies faculty member at Rutgers University.

Entitled “The Fast and the Erroneous: Journalism’s Reaction to CNN’s Misreporting of a SCOTUS Decision,” the article focuses on a June 2012 incident in which CNN incorrectly reported that the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare) as unconstitutional.  The mistake spread quickly through television, social media, and email. 

The authors’ examination of journalism’s reaction to this reporting blunder revealed that coverage of the error focused on five main themes: speed, accountability, complexity, context, and audience reaction.

Steve Voorhees, Associate Professor of Television

Drawing on themes from political economy and media ethics, the authors argue that journalists’ reactions to the error were often two sided: on the one hand castigating CNN for stressing speed, while themselves stressing who had distributed the information first. Additionally, the article suggests that journalists attempted to fulfill the dual role of ombudsman and protector, admonishing colleagues who had made mistakes while simultaneously trying to protect the reputation of their industry as a whole.

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