Monday, September 13, 2021

Ivermectin story that journalists fell for is a lesson for others

"Journalists fell victim to an incorrect story last week about rural Oklahoma hospitals becoming overwhelmed by victims of ivermectin poisoning," the Society of Professional Journalists reported in its newsletter to members.

"Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug some Americans are taking to treat Covid-19 even though it is not approved or proven for that purpose," SPJ notes. For more details about that, click here

The story was first reported by Oklahoma City's KFOR "and quickly picked up an amplified by national media outlets," SPJ reports. "The central claims were attributed to an Oklahoma doctor; however, the local outlet did not provide context surrounding the doctor’s quote, and other news outlets didn’t fact check or do further reporting. The flawed story was widely shared anyway, and amplified by liberals eager to demonstrate that right-wingers had gone off the deep end in their growing fondness for ivermectin. Conservatives also amplified the story, jumping to the conclusion that the doctor was a liar who had made the whole thing up."

SPJ notes that Robby Soave, senior editor for Reason, wrote, "Additional reporting was sorely needed here, and has now completely undermined the central point of the story."

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