Penn State student blog inaccurately reports death of Joe Paterno
Sunday, January 22, 2012
A posting yesterday on the social networking web site Twitter by the Pennsylvania State University's student blog Onward State, which incorrectly reported the death of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, has led to the resignation of one of its managing editors. Paterno died today.
Paterno had been hospitalized over the weekend due to complications from lung cancer, and was in serious condition. The Onward State blog had picked up word of his death at the age of 85, which was then posted on Twitter at 8:45 PM EST. Various news organizations began to pick up the story after word of the report had been picked up by CBS. Penn State students held a candlelight vigil in front of a statue of Paterno on campus after word of the erroneous passing.
However, CBS soon retracted the story after posts from other Paterno family members on Twitter reported that Joe had not died. At 10:20 PM EST, the managing editor for Onward State, Devon Edwards, officially retracted the story, saying in another tweet; "Our 8:45 pm tweet about Joe Paterno's death appears to be inaccurate, according to @JayPaterno, who says he's alive. We were confident when we ran with it, and are still trying to figure out where our process failed. We apologize sincerely for error." Additionally, Edwards also announced that he would be resigning from his position at Onward State, effective immediately.
In a blog post officially announcing his resignation, Edwards explained that "In this day and age, getting it first often conflicts with getting it right, but our intention was never to fall into that chasm. All I can do now is promise that in the future, we will exercise caution, restraint, and humility."
This morning, a report officially confirmed that Joe Paterno had died — today — from lung cancer at the age of 85.
- "Legendary Penn State coach Paterno dead at 85" — CNN, January 22, 2012
- Devon Edwards. "An Apology from the Managing Editor of Onward State" — Onward State, January 21, 2012
- Zoe McKnight. "Despite Internet claims, Paterno not dead at 85" — Toronto Star, January 21, 2012
- "Ex-Penn State coach in serious condition" — The Salt Lake Tribune, January 21, 2012
- Dave Sheinin. "Joe Paterno in serious condition" — The Washington Post, January 21, 2012
- Audery Snyder. "Penn State students hold candlelight vigil at Paterno statue" — USA Today, January 21, 2012