There’s an old journalism expression “if it bleeds, it leads,” referring to sensational journalism. On Tuesday, The Union is touting an article, “Patron reports being ‘roofied’ (her drink surreptitiously drugged) at Nevada City bar.”
But there is not enough proof to justify such prominent placement of this report. It is a one-source article from “A.Y.,” (“who asked that her name not be used”), who said she “suspected” this. It stemmed from her mom’s comments on Facebook. It’s an ongoing investigation, the police said. The article did not mention important details, such as whether there was a blood test to confirm the presence of this kind of drug. In lawyerly terms it is “hearsay.”
To be sure, this is a serious issue and there is no reason to doubt what “A.Y.” said she experienced. But there needs to be more reporting to show how it might have happened — and where. That part is open to widespread speculation.
The Union claims it is “above” the “news gathering” on Facebook. But it is not. It should have waited for more information before it published this article. There was no rush to publish this claim. Podunk.