Balloon boy coverage

(CNN) After scouring northern Colorado by foot and air, frantically chasing a Mylar balloon for miles and repeatedly interviewing his big brother, authorities ended the search for 6-year-old Falcon Heene where it began — at his house. He was in a box. In the attic. The whole time.

The  media followed this story  minute by minute for days. How do you evaluate this coverage?



  1. Honestly, there 15 minutes of fame is OVER!! The fact the media is sending these kids through all of this makes no sense. Now, I can see if they stopped covering it for awhile and then brought it back to light because the father and mother were charged for this being a hoax, but it’s stories like this that takes away from IMPORTANT news. This family even has a YouTube channel and they were even on ABC’s WifeSwap. So, this family thrives to be on television. I remember watching this exact episode and I’ve never seen such rude children and dysfunctional family. If the media have done their research, they would have found out if something was fishy about them. The media should be focusing on more IMPORTANT news than this family that’s so hooked on being on TV. I’m tired of seeing this coverage.

    Comment by lamarhreporter — November 1, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

  2. I think that the “Balloon Boy” story was far overdone. After authorities and the media discovered that this entire story was a hoax, the coverage on this family should have been dropped. While I do feel for this poor little boy and his homelife, I think that giving this family all the attention we possibly can is just what they wanted. For all informing purposes, the media has done its job. Nothing more needs to be reported on this horrible family, unless that is, theyre being charged with the neglect and mistreatment of their child.

    Comment by Kaitlin Sullivan — November 2, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

  3. I personally have a lot of questions that initially pop in to my head when I first read this story. Who told the media about the case to begin with? Why did it take days for the authorities to finally find the boy in a box? Did the older brother know where the boy was, and if so, why did he lie to the authorities while being interviewed? Did the parents themselves know about the boy’s whereabouts? One can’t strictly blame the media for covering the hoax because the news organizations were misled along with the authorities, but the incident does show how the media can rush into reporting a story without approaching the report cautiously.
    This incident can be similar to how CNN gave incorrect information of the number of surviving miners who were trapped in a cave-in years ago. This was a major story that was followed for days, but CNN was misled by an inaccurate source and immediately rushed in to beat their competitiors in following the story, which resulted in major consequences for both the grieving families of the miners and the news agency. The air balloon story is another lesson to reporters everywhere of misleading news sources. Journalists need to realize that not everything that they see and hear will be factual; asking multiple questions of the background and current events of a story will help in cautiously following a story.

    Comment by Alesha Bailey — November 3, 2009 @ 12:14 am

  4. I honestly think the whole story was one big publicity stunt by the Heene family. Falcon even admitted that it was a “show.” I think its horrible that the dad would make up a story about his son going missing just for publicity. It just goes to show how low some people will stoop just to get 5 minutes of fame. I am really tired of hearing about this topic and I think it needs to stop being covered in the media. It was a fake story to begin with.

    Comment by slbilharz — November 3, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  5. I believe that the balloon boy coverage should have been over a long time ago. I am surprised that major news organizations are still talking and covering this. I understand that when the balloon first landed and the boy was not there news organizations should cover that story because it is news. We see stories all the time of children in wells and things like that. But, once the child was found I see no reason to continue talking about this child. The family is now using the publicity to make themselves famous. They have been on television before and do not see the need to stop having the attention of the world. The boy was never missing in the first place, he was in his house the whole time. I also question if the balloon was a stunt for media attention. What family owns a giant hot air balloon for no reason? Personally, I am bored with balloon boy and I think the news organizations to move on to covering the more important things that are happening in the world right now.

    Comment by Beth Steele — November 4, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

  6. The coverage of the balloon boy was simply silly. News channels covered this story for hours, just showing the balloon flying for hours. And they bought the story that the boy was inside the balloon, instead of saying that he supposedly was inside. One of the best reporting on this was done by Shepard Smith of Fox News, he said that the boy was supposedly in there. He did not say that the boy is in the balloon like other anchors said. Showing the balloon fly for hours was a very bad news judgment, it was purely entertainment. People like to watch things like that on TV and that’s why the media decided to cover that story all afternoon.

    Comment by Michael Stopka — November 5, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

  7. Like I said in my other class blog, this was a huge news fail. Not only did the family, and our news look dumb, they made our public interested and wasted our time. I was, sadly, one of the followers of what we called “balloon boy”. I am not sure what bothered me more, the time I wasted to watch this silly mylar balloon, or that I wasted time when I could of been doing a lot other things with my life. Not only was it a waste, but the boy was never in the balloon.

    What blew my mind was that our news spent so much time covering it. It made our journalism world look as if they had nothing better to do than follow some balloon. Now, granite, they were unaware of the fact that it was a hoax in the end, they still should not of put in so much effort to follow a balloon, when wars, and other MORE newsworthy situations are currently taking place in our society.

    Another part of this whole conspiracy that really intrigued me was how much coverage from the public it got. Blogs, and YouTube videos tore this topic a new one. In the CNN video when Falcon threw up on live television and admitted “it was for the show” was such a shocker. Finally when our news started putting two and two together, they realized that the day that “John and Kate plus 8” was cancelled, was the same day that this whole hoax happened. The family strives for attention, and loves the publicity. They were on wife swap two times and they intended to create such a blown up situation so they could get their OWN reality show.

    In the end, I thought that this whole situation was so bizarre and interesting. I was a follower, watching every situation on the news of this “Balloon Boy” but I find it such a sad thing that our world has come to covering a mylar balloon rather then the more important topics in our society.

    Comment by Colleen — November 6, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

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