Posts tagged news.
Breaking news is broken. That’s the clearest lesson you can draw about the media from the last week, when both old- and new-media outlets fell down on the job. By now you’ve likely heard the lowlights. CNN and the AP incorrectly reported on Wednesday that a Boston Marathon suspect had been arrested. People on Reddit and editors at the New York Post wrongly fingered innocent kids as bombing suspects. Redditors also pushed the theory that a Brown University student who has been missing for more than a month was one of the bombers—a story that gained steam on Twitter Thursday when people listening to police scanners heard the cops repeat the student’s name. Though everyone should have been careful to dismiss chatter heard over the scanner, few did…
Twitter’s comeuppance could not have come soon enough. Earlier in the week, many social-media tough guys were calling CNN’s failing a sign of the times—proof that cable news couldn’t keep up with the Web. CNN was criticized for not taking the time to check its sources’ claims that the cops had arrested a “dark-skinned” suspect. The failure seemed in keeping with cable news’ inherent weaknesses. News takes time to develop, but because cable anchors have to fill up airtime and want to scoop their rivals, they’re eager to speculate and grab at any halfway credible sounding story they hear from their sources. Twitter, everyone on Twitter agreed, was better than that.
Then, a day later, people on Twitter made exactly the same mistakes. Besides the mistaken identification of the Brown student, Thursday night’s tweeters—including many local reporters covering the manhunt—couldn’t get straight whether one or two suspects had been arrested, whether the suspects were dead or alive, and whether they were light- or dark-skinned. Even more weirdly, many on Twitter were now making fun of CNN for being behind—for not following the news in the same slipshod manner as Twitter. By staying behind, though, CNN avoided the Web’s embarrassment. For all its mistakes, the network at least didn’t falsely identify anyone.
The useful distinction here isn’t by medium. It’s silly to say that Twitter is a better way to follow breaking news than CNN, or vice versa. The real problem is that both Twitter and CNN now depend on technologies that make it possible to follow breaking news too closely.
We get stories much faster than we can make sense of them, informed by cellphone pictures and eyewitnesses found on social networks and dubious official sources like police scanner streams. Real life moves much slower than these technologies. There’s a gap between facts and comprehension, between finding some pictures online and making sense of how they fit into a story. What ends up filling that gap is speculation. On both Twitter and cable, people are mostly just collecting little factoids and thinking aloud about various possibilities.
And the crowds in Watertown cheered.
news kept me up. best news ever!
“I was covering the finish line at the ground level at the marathon. Everything was going on as usual. It was jovial — people were happy, clapping — and getting to a point where it gets a little boring as a photographer. And then we heard this explosion.
“It was sort of like, ok, what’s that all about? It wasn’t super loud but all you saw was the smoke. There was this big cloud of smoke and people screaming. The percussion from that explosion threw my cameras up in the air. Right in front of me, one of the runners fell on the ground — he was blown over from the blast. My instinct was…no matter what it is, you’re a photographer first, that’s what you’re doing. I ran towards the explosion, towards the police; they had their guns drawn. It was pandemonium. Nobody knew what was going on.
“The first thing I saw were people’s limbs blown off. Massive amounts of blood. It looked like BB holes in the back of some people. And a lot of anger. People were just angry. What’s going on? Why is this happening at the Boston Marathon?
“Maybe 15 seconds after the first explosion, while I was still shooting pictures, another explosion went off. And then there was panic. The cops told everybody to get off the street, that there could be another one.
“I can’t compare it to anything else I’ve ever been to. The horror. And the anger.”
(via Time magazine)
One of the biggest tragedies ever in our country. I’m about to cry.
“At least 245 people have died in a fire that swept through a nightclub in a university city in southern Brazil, police and officials say.” More
RIP - All the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
Charlotte Bacon, age 6.
Daniel Barden, 7.
Olivia Engel, 6.
Josephine Gay, 7.
Ana M Marquez-Greene, 6.
Dylan Hockley, 6.
Madeleine F Hsu, 6.
Catherine V Hubbard, 6.
Chase Kowalski , 7.
Jesse Lewis, 6.
James Mattioli, 6.
Grace McDonnell, 7.
Emilie Parker, 6.
Jack Pinto, 6.
Noah Pozner, 6.
Caroline Previdi, 6.
Jessica Rekos, 6.
Avielle Richman, 6.
Benjamin Wheeler, 6.
Allison N Wyatt, 6.
Rachel Davino, 29.
Dawn Hochsprung, 47.
Anne Marie Murphy, 52.
Lauren Rousseau, 30.
Mary Sherlach, 56.
Victoria Soto, 27.
Because I cant find the words to express my grief for everyone affected by this. (x)
Don’t worry — you’re going to have Christmas.
At least 27 people, including 18 children, were killed on Friday when at least one shooter opened fire at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, CBS News reported, citing unnamed officials.
If confirmed, it would be one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. The holiday season tragedy follows a series of shooting rampages in the United States this year that have killed multiple victims, and it was certain to revive a debate about U.S. gun laws.
The principal and school psychologist were among the dead, CNN said. Witnesses reported hearing dozens of shots with some saying as many as 100 were fired.
The suspected shooter, 24, was armed with four weapons and wearing a bullet-proof vest, WABC reported.
There were unconfirmed reports of a second shooter.
EXCEPT, WAKING UP TO THIS. WHYYYY????!!!!!! :’(