The pressures to break news on the web can often outweigh the journalistic checks and balances and it is worth reading this feature from Greg Marx over at CJR.
He looks in detail at a report that appeared on Sunday in the Fort Worth Star Telegram in which the article stated that
In 2001, Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center was led by Anwar Al-Awlaki, a New Mexico-born scholar now living in Yemen. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, according to new disclosures by a Fort Hood acquaintance, was an admirer of Al-Awlaki who has been described as a radical Islamist.
Unfortunately the article had failed to track down this source and as Marx writes
the Star-Telegram hadn’t actually tracked down a close friend of Hasan’s—rather, it had found a novelist who said he had spoken to this unidentified friend, and had decided that, at least in this case, a bit of journalistic telephone passed muster.