The philosopher Karl Popper once said, “Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it.” He was talking about science and philosophy, but he could have been talking about journalism, too. At its best, reporting is like science: you form a hypothesis, and you try to prove it. But as importantly—more importantly—you shoot it full of holes to see if any of the wounds are fatal.
The disgruntled former TV station employee suspected of having fatally shot a reporter and cameraman on-air appears to have recorded up-close videos of the murders and then posted the footage to Twitter before later committing suicide. The first video posted shows someone believed to be former station employee Vester Flanagan holding a camera and walking up to reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward and the woman they were interviewing, Vicki Gardner.
On Monday, it got a White House press pass. On top of that, the InfoWars reporter who got the pass was Jerome Corsi, one of the chief forces behind the utterly untrue idea, rooted in racism, that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and ineligible to be president. There will be some people who will tell you it's a bad thing that InfoWars and Corsi got this pass, that this is a pernicious move by the Trump White House and you should be upset about it. They're wrong. It's fine -- a good thing, even.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".