That’s an explanation, though—not an excuse. Any event that combines the terms “plane” and “New York City” and “crash” is bound to create panic, even if, in the next moment, the real situation—apparently-casualty-free water landing—is revealed. Those relating the story of that event, therefore, have an even greater responsibility than they usually do to be both accurate and sensitive in their narratives. Here’s yet another area where TV news can take a cue from its fellows in print: before you share information with the public…choose your words carefully.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.