By Robert A. Vella

We regret the misleading title of an article reblogged today on The Secular Jurist (see:  https://thesecularjurist.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/another-witness-in-michael-brown-shooting-found-dead/) which suggests the two deceased victims referred to were “witnesses” to the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.  Upon further review, that fact cannot be confirmed.

The names of all the witnesses who testified before the grand jury investigation, under the direction of St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch, have not yet been released to the public.  This has led to speculation about whether the two victims might have given testimony.  But until those names are officially released, or are discovered through other means, such assertions remain speculative.

We apologize for any confusion, and hope to do a better job at checking our sources.


5 thoughts on “Correction – December 11, 2014

  1. Happens all the time. Some people are just stupidly irresponsible. Others deliberately spread false stories hoping to discredit those trying to expose wrong doing. All bloggers need to be reminded of this trap. I have found recently that sites I had a high level of trust in, I need to read some of their articles very carefully indeed. One sign of infiltration is equivocation. The article will start on a human rights/social justice angle then switch to the opposite viewpoint. This is completely different from people who hold a genuinely different viewpoint who state their views upfront. – Thanks for the speedy correction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, yes social media infiltration is very real and I have written about “trolls” on this blog. Some bloggers are irresponsible by rarely checking their sources. Some are so antagonistic towards professional journalism that they rely exclusively on less credible sources. In this particular case, the site I reblogged from seems to be more concerned with volume than content. But, I am responsible for what is published on The Secular Jurist, and yesterday I had a moment of pure laziness.


  2. Good journalists always check their sources, so good job catching the error! A lot of bloggers just blog stuff without checking where their info is coming from, and as you said, a lot of social media has this problem. Being able to post corrections to stories shows integrity, as many of my journalism professors have said. It’s also the best way to prevent libel suits, should you ever find yourself in such a position. And yes, bloggers can be sued for libel. I’ve been meaning to post a list of things bloggers can be sued for- I will definitely get on that.


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