Panel moderator Frank Stasio asked the journalists on the panel if there was anything they regretted about the way their organizations handled the Duke lacrosse story.

The N&O‘s John Drescher said, “Sure there are some things I’d do differently,” and then added, “I think overall our coverage is good. I’m proud of it.” He did say that early on his paper used the word “victim” instead of “accuser” in stories. “I definitely regret that we weren’t careful enough with that word.” And also: “There were a few times I think we emphasized the class angle too much.”

The Herald-Sun‘s Bob Ashley’s first-mentioned regret had nothing to do with mistakes: “One of my regrets on this, quite honestly, is that I’ve not had enough resources to throw at the story.” He said his was one of the smallest news operations involved in covering this national story. He did say that he wished his paper had “been more aggressive” in looking at the competence of the early police investigation, and added that “there was a lot of community sentiment driving anger” toward the lacrosse players and that his paper should have been more careful how they reported that.

Susannah Meadows of Newsweek said: “In the early very competitive days we certainly would be breathless about some new nugget of information” that later turned out to be unimportant. “Be mindful of how competitive you’re being,” she advised journalists who find themselves in that position. Meadows is widely acknowledged (by bloggers, anyway) to have written one of the best — and fairest — articles on the case. When several audience questioners criticized the general news coverage she began defending Newsweek‘s stories, only to have several audience members point out that the criticisms were aimed at the local newspapers, not her magazine.

Later, in response to a question about why the media seemed to assume the players were guilty, Meadows made this comment: “You had a public official [Nifong] who said, ‘I am sure!’, and say it to your face. We expect our public officials to know what they’re talking about.”

More later.