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Who Is Responsible When Publicized Facts are Wrong?

Facts, and other evidence, are important to consider whenever we try to determine why something has happened.  At the time of the Chicago fire, in 1871, many people blamed Mrs. O'Leary and her cow.  

Do you think those individuals - including the press reporters who broke the O'Leary story - considered all the facts?  Explain your answer.

If they did not consider all the facts, and thereby harmed Mrs. O'Leary's reputation, do you think reporters or their employers should be held responsible?  Why, or why not?

What could (or should) have the reporters done differently?

Can you think of a 21st-century situation where the media published "facts" before reporters had the "evidence" to support those facts? What consequences flowed from such actions? In that situation, was anyone held accountable for publishing "misinformation" or misleading news reports?


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