Twitter Scooped NBC on Russert's Death

In the world of broadcast news, it's normally a given courtesy that, when a well known news personality dies, the station they worked for will be the first to break the news after the family has been notified. It's one of the unwritten rules of journalism.

In the case of beloved NBC newsman Tim Russert, Twitter scooped the massive network on the big story.

Turns out that a minor lackey at the station heard the news and, assuming it was public knowledge, edited Russert's Wikipedia page to reflect the death. Someone at the station caught it, which makes me wonder who they pay to watch Wikipedia, and changed it back some eleven minutes later.

Too late.

By the time they made the changes, the story was already out on Twitter.


I saw this story yesterday and found it interesting because when I first heard of Russert's death but couldn't get confirmation on the news sites, I went to his Wikipedia entry to "confirm" it -- *gasp*

Horrible, horrible librarian...

That's why Wikipedia has that banner at the top of people's pages when they die. It's the one that says something like THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT SOMEONE WHO RECENTLY DIED. And then it goes on about how facts could change and if the story is getting too many edits, the staff can intervene.

When I need confirmation on a breaking news story, Google News is usually my first spot to hit. One search and I usually have everything I need to see.

And you're not horrible. It still gets me that NBC probably hires someone to monitor Wikipedia sites. If they do it, you know others do. Makes you wonder what it takes to get that job?

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade