When a Texas NBC affiliate posted a short breaking news bulletin on their website on Feb. 3, 2016 with the headline: “Emergency crews respond to man falling from tower on FM 54 in Hale County,” the link was immediately pasted on tower-industry Facebook groups.
One social media poster even misinterpreted the headline and re-posted that the man fell from an FM tower.
Some industry media neither took the time to vet whether it was a telecommunications-related incident, nor did they follow up on their short summary that inferred that it was.
Had they looked at local news reports hours later, it would have been obvious that it was a transmission power line tower construction project and not industry related. But for some, being first is more important than being factual.
One telecommunications tower-centric bulletin ran the story for the second time yesterday, ten days after the incident, and used a verbatim quote from an article that had a photograph of the transmission line tower and also identified the pole line company that only provides transmission line services. Yet they still ran the story as if it was telecom related.
This industry takes injuries and fatalities very seriously, as it should, and deserves more accurate reporting.