sighEarlier today CNN reported an arrest related to the Boston Marathon bombing. Hours later they had to essentially retract their reporting. Their big mistake - apparently they didn't ask the authorities on the record if there was any arrest before they broadcast their report.
— Columbia Jrn Review (@CJR) April 17, 2013
These are the types of events I point to (the initial reports on the Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act ruling is another example) whenever I see people criticize social media channels as rumor mills. The simple truth: Twitter has become the best breaking news tool humanity has ever seen. When Boston's hometown newspaper reported on the bombings at the marathon they simply converted their website to a Twitter stream. But the most popular comment today on Twitter's value as a news tool appears to be this:
Twitter does its best work in the first five minutes after a disaster, and its worst in the twelve hours after that.And yet the next day there was CNN rolling out a former Homeland Security Advisor and one of its signature journalists with ties to Boston getting the story completely wrong. Obviously the stakes are much higher for a news network than a random guy with a twitter handle. So clearly CNN followed a process, got the requisite number of sources, and went ahead with their story. But the great thing about Twitter today - if you have a question, you can just ask, just as the authorities will ask you for help. Even the Boston Police Department gets this.
— Matt Roller (@rolldiggity) April 15, 2013