Think Like an Editor blog by Steve Davis and Emilie Davis, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

Pranks aren’t funny – many lessons

By · Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Hoaxes, pranks, practical jokes. The media are a common target of these. Stay vigilant.

A recent prank was played on KTVU-TV in the San Francisco Bay Area. The station issued an apology after an anchor read fake names that were a play on Asian names and were racially offensive.

The names were reported as those of the four pilots of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 that crashed in San Francisco last Saturday.

How the hoax succeeded:

Universal advice:

Special note to boot campers: This is an example of how errors can happen even when you go to the primary source. If someone out there wants to get a hoax by you, it can easily happen. A go-to source is Strategy 37: Digital Deadlines in the second edition of “Think Like an Editor.” Review it regularly for timeless tips.

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