Twitter as a news source

6:43 PM, Apr 19, 2013   |    comments
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(NEWS CENTER) - With the bombing Monday, and the shootout and manhunt Thursday into Friday, Twitter was more active and faster moving than any other news source.

Twitter is by nature faster and more immediate than Facebook. It is live in the moment reporting. For example, last night after midnight this manhunt heated up and Twitter explained every detail in real-time. Even TV couldn't keep up. But you have to think of it as a live conversation where the facts are evolving in real time... It can correct itself from one moment to the next.

Twitter is as solid as the people you choose to follow... Every network reporter, every big time newspaper reporter is on Twitter. During breaking news they are posting brief factoids as they learn them. But if you're following people who are just social users a whole lot of rumors get spread that way.

More of the credible news sources like our journalists, try to get that information verified before tweeting, or pause to consider what is said before sending the tweet out. Most newsrooms still apply the same ethics to social media that we apply to anything we report on air. If you aren't comfortable reporting it on air, don't post it on social. The journalistic ethics don't end because it's social media

Throughout the search for the Boston Bombing suspect, social media, and in turn all media, has become apart of the story itself.
At one point this morning officials told the media to stop reporting scanner traffic. 

It started late Thursday night. As the search began for the suspects, many reporters started to post scanner traffic on Twitter from either Cambridge Police or Boston Police. Reporters on the scene were also posting what they were seeing first hand... describing what they saw and where they were, a lot of information was going out to the public.

Friday morning, police were concerned the suspect might have access to social media asked everyone to stop tweeting scanner traffic (and specific locations and tactical information) -- and everyone complied.

As all eyes descended on Boston, there was a handful or reporters that were on the scene reporting their first hand accounts. Those reporters became the key people to follow who had all the latest information. And if you were on twitter Thursday night... (and number of people in our newsroom were) you watched this manhunt unfold in real time, it was stunning.

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