Almost every initial media account of the Newtown shooting ended up being wrong, except for the fact that there was a shooting.

The type of weapon used was wrong, as were reports that Mrs. Lanza worked at the school, that she had a dispute with the principal, and that handguns were used. Even the wrong Lanza son was identified as the shooter.

This NY Times correction essentially rewrote the story:

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: December 18, 2012

An article on Saturday about the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and 8 adults dead, using information from the authorities, misstated the way in which the gunman managed to enter the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman, Adam Lanza, shot his way in, defeating the security system that required visitors to be buzzed in; the school’s principal did not allow him to go through the security system after recognizing him. The article also referred incorrectly to the gunman’s mother, Nancy, whom he killed in the house they shared not far from the school. She was never a teacher at the school.

This tweet (via Twitchy) pretty much summed it up:

So too with the Boston Marathon bombing, so many of the supposedly confirmed facts turned out not to be true:

Expect the list of inaccuracies to grow.

A good lesson as to why we cannot jump to conclusions based on initial reports.


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