Twitter Coverage Through The Night

Friday, April 19, 2013


As a manhunt for the Boston bombing suspects unfolded in the wee hours of Friday morning, Twitter was the place to be for coverage. Brooke speaks with OTM producer Alex Goldman, who captained the late (really late) night Twitter coverage for On the Media.


Implode - Bottom Of A Well

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Comments [5]

Louise from Watertown, MA

Thanks for the piece about tweeting the crisis in Watertown, MA in the early hours of April 19. Although I'm a regular listener of the OTM podcasts, this one moved me to comment because this news event unfolded right in my neighborhood.

I have to admit I am kind of baffled by people like Alec who weighed in on Twitter that night in the absence of any direct experience or knowledge of what was happening on the ground. I guess he merely repeated what he read from other tweets and heard on the police scanner feed? What exactly qualified him to act as a filter or news gatekeeper under these circumstances?

I would like to ask Alec, who did you feel was the audience for your tweets at that time? What kind of need did you feel you were serving? Did you feel that your role was as a journalist or as a critic of journalism? Or were you just one citizen media consumer tweeting to others, as you might chat while watching tv news together?

My neighbors and I were in desperate need of accurate news reporting at that time: we could hear gunfire and explosives and we needed to know what was happening and whether we were in immediate danger. For me, Twitter was the ONLY way to get information about a very confusing event that was unfolding literally and metaphorically in the dark for everyone involved; BUT it was only useful before day broke, when lots of news media who were NOT on the ground started weighing in with the #watertown hashtag, filing repetitive and obsolete tweets, and repeating mistakes and misunderstandings.

The relative success and accuracy of live feeds from our local news media WCVB and The Boston Globe are worth noting. This event, in other words, a snapshot of the state of journalism at a nexus of the growing influence of social media and the struggle of traditional media industries to survive, proved that there's no substitute for local journalists on the ground, who know local neighborhoods and cultivate reliable local contacts.

For anyone interested in further analysis on this, the Neiman Foundation at Harvard held a great roundtable on May 1.

May. 25 2013 06:50 PM

Super Metroid, retro-nice.

Apr. 25 2013 10:24 AM
Ramesh from NY

Baston is not a shielded place like Damascuss so we did not need crowd reporting. We know that tweeter is a place where one broadcasts personal emotions, not news. Tweeter serves the individual more than public.

Apr. 23 2013 10:12 PM
Chris from LFP

Hearing AG's regret about not being more judicious makes one wonder about the effect of video gaming and AG's cortisol levels. Just sayin'

Apr. 22 2013 02:43 PM
Seth from UWS

If it looks like a schmo, walks like a schmo and quacks like a schmo...

How about WAIT and SEE? Who is even reading this idiot's tweets? Fully grown 12 year old video game twits?
These are the kind of people who work for a show that analyzes the media?! Hilarious!!

Apr. 21 2013 10:21 AM

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