and got to watch this whole thing unfold while still in my pajamas. here are my thoughts:
1. whenever you have three people at a crime scene with TV cameras locked on them and a huge BREAKING NEWS label beneath them, they have to say something that rationalizes their existence at that location so either they will be forced to speculate or their producers will feel pressure to feed them “news”.
2. this is bad.
3. once upon a time long distance phone calls cost a lot of money. i imagine satellite feeds once cost lots of money too. back then you only made that phone call or opened up that sat truck IF YOU HAD SOMETHING NEW TO SAY, which hopefully was verified. but that seems to have changed.
4. broadcasters in all arenas (blogs, radio, tv, twitter) worry that their audience will go away. they shouldn’t worry. THE AUDIENCE WILL GO AWAY. either because they die, something more interesting comes along, they turn off their device, or you lost their trust because you didnt trust that they’d be loyal to you so you said stuff too quickly that turned out not to be true. i know this is impossible, but pretend, like i do on this blog, that there is no audience other than your mother and she loves you and you love her right back. so only give her the best of the best because Lord knows shes gonna tell all of her friends in a panic.
5. we need to put Breaking News, Exclusive, and Scoop in timeout for a while, because those words do not help any more, in fact they may be part of the problem. Those words can come out of the lock box when the US elects a gay brownskinned female athiest potsmoking stutterer with a goatee. to a second term. until then things are just news, sports, traffic or weather.
6. if you insist on labeling everything Breaking News despite the fact very little of it is either, you should also label things Speculation.
SPECULATION: The suspect may be a lone wolf working for an unnamed group who used a remote triggering device that also had a timer. also, he had a Coldplay tshirt on.
7. if youre a tv executive you shouldnt whine to Politico about how social media is the 5th estate that watches the watchmen and says OMG WTF when the correct reaction is, indeed, OMG WTF.
we are saying OMG WTF because we love you and you made us doubt that love as being foolish. apologize.
8. the best fuel for Twitter is television. the super unleaded is when something fucks up on tv. once you understand that, tv executive, you wont point at the people who are pointing at your people. your people are usually the ones doing the pointing, btw. and get paid handsomely for the privilege.
9. it’s ok to leave the story if there is no new news. seriously, we’ll we respect you in the morning.
10. when you make a huge gigantic error online, like this
you dont get to just write through it on the same URL
you have to put a correction on that page to acknowledge that the last time they were at that page it was an entirely different story.
online journalism is not just a whiteboard you point to and then erase when you fuck up like nbd.
some of us treat the web with as much respect as you treat the things you actually respect.
11. in online news be transparent, use new URLs, and tell us when you goof.
12. otherwise we have no other choice but to go somewhere else, which is annoying to us too.
Update: 13. Chartgirl plotted out today’s oops beautifully