Like most people last week, I was glued to the TV and my Twitter feed. I was heartbroken by what happened at the Boston Marathon — seeing so many people lose limbs and three people lose their lives. I taped “For Boston” to the back of my running jacket on Tuesday, and ran on Wednesday in support of the national “Run for Boston” campaign.
The last time I was that glued to the news was on Sept. 11, 2001. I was a college junior in Stevens Point, Wis., and had yet to realize journalism was my passion. Today, I have my masters in journalism, teach journalism and am passionate about the craft. I get excited when I see good journalists doing awesome work, and I get frustrated when I see others screwing it up. Last week’s events proved to be another lesson on how to report breaking news in the world where Twitter is everyone’s news feed.
People were tweeting from the scanner leaving the Boston Police to ask numerous times for people to stop. Trained journalists know this – though some were still doing it. Matthew Keys who was social media reporter for Reuters, (also lost his job this week), wrote about his use of Twitter and using the scanner for reporting.
Social media is deeply embedded in breaking news. It can’t be ignored which means journalists need to understand the best way to use it. I was impressed with how the Boston Police were using Twitter. They embrace it as a form of communication, and it was cool to see. In an effort to teach my students the way to use social media in breaking news, I’ve aggregated a few articles about what happened last week in regards to journalism.
Here’s my list.
- Poynter: 4 takeaways from journalists’ coverage of the Boston explosions
- Daily Mail: Reddit apologizes to the family of the missing Brown University student they wrongly accused of being the Boston bombing suspect
- Washington Post: What the Boston bombings taught me about journalism
- Columbia Journalism Review: Boston cops: Don’t reveal our tactics, please
- Nieman Journalim Lab: Social media and the Boston bombings: When citizens and journalists cover the same story
Have you read a good article that touches on this topic? Share it!