When a Plane Crashes, Twitter Seems to Know First

Admittedly by most standards my Twitter network is on the small side–I follow 1240 people and just more than 1000 follow me.  There is a lot of cross over on the list so its not 2200+.  And the reality is that is fine for me–I struggle to keep up already.

But on days like today, even my relatively small network had me out in front of breaking news (really two stories the GM Bankruptcy filing and the Air France Airbus crash).  Since the GM story was mostly out on Sunday night though, I want to focus on the Air France story.

As I was coming home from the gym this morning (around 545) I saw an email on my BB that an Air France Airbus from Brazil to France had “dropped off radar.”  Now this was an internal email within CBS News. I made note of it, and went to take a shower.  When I finished, and fired up my laptop and opened up TweetDeck and saw a litany of posts from news sources, re-tweets and people on the ground at Charles De Gaulle Airport painting the scene of the search, the reactions in France and some very accurate reporting.  

As far as I can tell, BNO News on Twitter was the first to report that Air France thought there were no survivors.  I have to admit I was skeptical of this, seemed too early.  And I was not alone in my skepticism.  One of the people I follow on Twitter, whom I have never met posted a Tweet voicing that same sentiment.  @CheapSuits was quick to admit (as was I) that the initial reporting was correct.

So, one of the really cool things about twitter is that I don’t actually know any of these people.  They are people who I think have good things to say and are worth the time to scroll through and read 140 characters at a time.

Its part of the empowerment that Twitter offers-its a chance to be selective in what I read, how I read it, and how I process that information.  Beyond that, it is also a chance to get different voices on stories and issues–and in a lot of ways be out in front of the news (which in my case is part of my job).

As I warn in other posts here and in other places where I comment-its vital to be skeptical and do the “J”ournalism.  But in a Twitter world, the speed of the reporting goes much quicker–the pressure is on the journalists though.  We have to make sure we are right.

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2 Responses to “When a Plane Crashes, Twitter Seems to Know First”

  1. Cheapsuits Says:

    I wasn’t questioning BNO’s call of no survivors. They were merely reporting ( which they do a great job of) the info they were getting. I was aghast ( and skeptical) at Air France officials saying there were no survivors so early on. How did they know? What did they know? Seemed awfully defeatist if you ask me. I mean seriously plane wasn’t even on the ocean floor yet and they were packing it up to go have croissants and Marlboro reds.

    No doubt twitter is a ‘turn to’ source for breaking news. NO DOUBT!

  2. 24 Hour News Cycle to Never Ending Cycle « Socializing Media From the Inside Says:

    [...] to go back further, see how the crash of an Air France Jet in Brazil played out in real-time in June 2009. Or think more contemporary, and the fate of Justin Beiber and perhaps the cooling of Beiber [...]

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