Fort Hood and the Tweeting of the News

Paul Carr at Tech Crunch believes that the news reporting of Thursday’s Fort Hood shootings is a perfect example of how social media might not be an unequivocally Good Thing in terms of privacy and human decency.

Paul notes that: “the first news and analysis out of the base didn’t come from the experts. Nor did it come from the 24-hour news media, or even from dedicated military blogs – but rather from the Twitter account of one Tearah Moore, a soldier from Linden, Michigan who is based at Fort Hood, having recently returned from Iraq.”

The problem, Paul writes, is that her information was not accurate. But wait, Paul, neither is information that we get from the mainstream news. Reuters, the BBC, the New York Times have in the past not only misreported the news, but also have photoshopped their images to make them more newsworthy.

Paul castigated the soldier for tweeting instead of helping. We all have watched YouTube videos of kids getting the crap kicked out of them while no one steps in to help, instead making sure to focus their cellphones on the events unfolding before them. And while we may all tsk-tsk about how “citizen journalists” are more interested in boosting their own egos than calling 911 or actually stepping in and helping the victim, this is no different from real-live accredited journalists who report the news.

If a real news reporter from CNN or the BBC with a camera had been on the post, would Paul have criticized him for filming the images rather than putting down the camera and “helping” out? The truth is, any reporter doing so would have been fired by his bosses if he shut off his camera.

We also do not know what would have happened to the story if there were no tweets. Would this have ended up as just another training accident? We have a President who is actively trying to court the favor of Muslims throughout the world. Who knows how the story might have been reported by the military.

The American mainstream media actually lag behind blogs as to what is really happening. For example, from Debbie at the Right Truth, we are presented with links to other stories discussing in more detail Hasan’s links to terror organizations. At the Jawa Report we learn that a member of the Texas mosque (where Hasan was currently attending) not only refuses to condemn Hasan, but justifies their murder because “they were troops who were going to Afghanistan and Iraq to kill Muslims”. Not something one will read in the New York Times.

I believe it is important for the news to come to us unfiltered by those with huge corporate advertising behind them, without pressure from the government, without the worry of political correctness. While political correctness may be an important social lubricant, it should be absolutely excluded from news reporting.

See this Flickr video.

Explore posts in the same categories: WEB 2.0


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One Comment on “Fort Hood and the Tweeting of the News”

  1. Debbie Says:

    The MSM reported that Maj. Hasan was “shot dead”. Almost a day went by before they reported that he was actually alive. Perfect example of them rushing to print/air without the facts.

    Thanks for the mention. I checked and your trackback did not go to spam, for some reason it did not go through. I will add your permalink to your comment.


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