By Todd Marcum, President
Most of the time we’re really happy when we help a client make national news. Saturday was an exception.
The News Guardians, which joins jumbo shrimp, military intelligence, and Valley Highlands on a list of misnomers, reported that a drone was spying on an open conservative gathering on Mill Mountain. This item was picked up by Tea Party social media.
In truth, the drone video camera had been contracted by Access to conduct a video shoot with Dave Perry for a project we are doing to attract business to the region on behalf of a local economic development group. It’s a project we’re really excited about, by the way.
Checking the facts should have been easy. We had a permit with Roanoke Parks and Rec. We had a certificate of insurance. During the shoot we were actively tweeting and posting to social media. Had anyone just bothered to drive up to the star, we had a dozen or so folks up there for the shoot, for heaven’s sake. We were even landing the drone RIGHT ON THE DECK of the star.
TAG Aerial Media, the fantastic drone camera operators, even have a cell phone number on their webpage. Did the News Guardians even try to call them?
Sadly this is a case of a “get it first and worry about getting it right later” culture that permeates Internet news culture. Fact checking would have been easy…there’s no evidence they made even the slightest attempt to see if they story they were reporting was accurate. This story also makes the very people they are trying to help look paranoid and not very competent…kind of a classic “you’re not helping.”
This isn’t a political statement against the leanings of the publication…I like Bob Goodlatte and his son Rob was once an intern at Access. It’s simply an indictment of shoddy work.