Sep 13, 2008

Update: Still a bad idea

The editor of the Rocky Mountain News explains his decision to Twitter a 3 year old's funeral:
Most of us couldn't attend the service. But that doesn't mean we don't empathize with the family and don't want to join in their mourning in some way. Marten was one family's son before he died. But because of the way he died, his loss was felt by thousands.

One way for a news organization to help a community connect is to send information live from the service, just as we do from events ranging from political conventions to road closings to concerts and parties. We don't have to wait to publish in the next day's paper anymore. TV and radio don't wait, and people seem to value that.

I can imagine some might think live updates during a solemn event might be disruptive. But typically reporters can sit at the very back of a hall, out of the way of mourners.

Ultimately, to me, it's all about execution. Poorly done, such journalism might very well feel inappropriate. Done well, I don't think so.

1 comment:

Edward said...

I especially liked the part where he threw the reporter under the bus:
"Some criticism of the short blasts our reporter sent may be justified. They can seem cold, even crass. But I am responsible for that failing. It is my job to make sure our staff is trained properly."
It's his fault, but I'll be big enough to say it's his fault.