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.