CBC Gets Two Stories About George Lucas Totally Mixed Up

from the mashup! dept

Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but we keep hearing how it’s the professional press that actually checks fact, and it’s the blogs that rush out stories that are factually weak. And yet… there seem to be plenty of examples of the “professionals” going to press with stories that clearly weren’t fact checked or researched. Robert Ring points us to an article in the CBC supposedly about a new film coming from George Lucas. The only problem is that it seems to take two totally separate George Lucas films, and thinks they’re the same exact film, making for quite the odd story. You see, Lucas has been working for quite some time on a film called Red Tails, all about the Tuskegee Airmen, which he wrote and executive produced (but didn’t direct). That film is in post-production and should be out in the nearish future. Just recently, stories came out about a totally unrelated, and totally different project that Lucas was involved in — a computer animated musical about fairies. Yeah, don’t ask.

These are clearly two separate films… unless you’re a reporter for the CBC apparently:

George Lucas is tackling his first musical, a film about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of African-American pilots.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lucas is working on the movie Red Tails at his Skywalker Ranch in California.

Plot details for the computer-animated film are not being released, but it is known that fairies play a role.

While we’re big supporters of mashups and remix culture, this isn’t exactly what we meant…

The article continues to bounce back and forth over the details of the two movies, as if they were the same thing. Perhaps this is why the CBC put in place a terms of service that required sites to get permission before quoting any CBC articles…

Update: Despite the article being up for over a week without a correction, within hours of this post, they changed the article around. Luckily… we’ve got screenshot:

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Companies: cbc

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Comments on “CBC Gets Two Stories About George Lucas Totally Mixed Up”

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Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Good Example?

In journalism school, we learned fact checking, and they made a big deal of it. As in, teaching us technique and notation and how to confirm every single fact so much as mentioned in a piece. We had tests where we had to turn in an article with basically every sentence double-sourced. We were told repeatedly that “this is how it’s done in the industry – newspapers and magazines take facts more seriously than anything”

Then we get out into the industry and discover that fact-checking is an afterthought at many publications, if they do it at all.

So I guess this isn’t the worst example, no – but in a way the simplicity and stupidity of this example are what make it so good: if they can’t get a brief report on a Kevin Smith movie right, how can they be trusted on any complicated issue with gray areas and conflicting statements? News outlets are supposed to be the arbiters of fact in those situations…

Marcus Carabsays:

Re: Re: Re: Good Example?

Hahaha nope, that’s me confusing two posts – though I wish I was being ironic. Thanks for catching me.

In any case I do know which STORY I’m talking about, I just got sloppy in precisely the way this article did. It’s a pretty fantastic demonstration at my own expense, really.

Of course, the real point is that I just typed quickly and pressed Submit, and these are exactly the sort of errors that happen when you do that. Had I been publishing this on a national news website, I would have at the very least read it over. News organizations try to claim they are incapable of such mistakes, and yet they make them all the time.

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