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When Twitter goes bad: newspaper tweets a funeral

September 11th, 2008Posted by in Handy tools and technology, Newspapers

US newspaper The Rocky Mountain News has come under scrutiny for its use of microblogging tool Twitter.

The paper has been using the service to provide news alerts with its @The Rocky account, but recently experimented with an individual reporter twittering from the funeral of a 3-year-old.

“Rocky reporter Berny Morson filed live updates from the memorial service of 3-year-old Marten Kudlis. The messages are unedited,” reads the editor’s note accompanying the article on the death of Marten Kudlis, who was killed in a car crash last week.

Michael Roberts at the Latest Word blog points out that the updates are ‘self-satirizing in the most morbid, inappropriate way possible’.

“Morson’s not to blame for the lameness of these entries, which suggest a golfing commentator whispering at green-side while Tiger Woods lines up a putt.”

Questions have been raised about the appropriateness of Twitter coverage before, but usually centring on its suitability as a medium for coverage e.g. does the event require frequent updates or can it wait? Covering a funeral – that’s proprierty gone AWOL.

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