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Twitter Breaks Story on Discovery Channel Gunman

September 2nd, 2010 by Celeste Fremon

I continue to be astonished when reporter/editor colleagues
tell me with a roll of their eyes that they “don’t use Twitter.”

“I don’t really have the time,” they will say.

Right, I find myself thinking. Good luck to you, then.

Another illustration why if one expects to continue to make one’s living in the news business one would be wise to find the time to master Twitter may be found in the WaPo story excerpted below about how the news that a gunman was holding hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters broke, as more and more stories have, on Twitter.

…The news of a gunman at the Discovery Channel’s headquarters in Silver Spring indeed traveled fast on Wednesday, but none of it came through radio, TV or newspaper Web sites, at least not at first. As it has with other breaking news events — the landing of a jet on the Hudson River in 2009, the 2008 massacre in Mumbai — the story unfolded first in hiccupping fits and starts on Twitter, the much-hyped micro-blogging service that has turned millions of people into worldwide gossips, opinion-mongers and amateur news reporters.

Before camera crews and reporters could race to the scene, a shot of alleged hostage-taker James Lee was flashing around the world via Twitpic, Twitter’s photo-sharing service that lets people see whatever a cellphone camera captures seconds after the shutter snaps. The shot — full of menace and dread — was apparently taken by an office worker peering from a window several floors above the Discovery courtyard

Read the rest here.

Posted in Future of Journalism, media | No Comments »

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