Like anyone with a conscience and any news professional the events at the Fort Hood Army base in Killeen, TX yesterday were shocking. For me, they hit a little close to home. When I worked in Dallas 10 years ago I spent a lot of time at the base covering assorted stories about Army spending, homecoming of bodies etc.
Now I get to spend more time in an office and help make sure word of such events is disseminated to multiple platforms, shape coverage and be involved in the planning process of how to cover these types of stories. Yeah, sometimes I miss the field.
As events unfolded yesterday, there was a great case study unfolding on Twitter in how the story evolved. There were plenty of straight up posts, hash tags and trending topics.
There was plenty of news being broken on Twitter from news organizations big and small (BNO, CBS News, KWTX etc) but there was also an interesting mix of people in the media looking for information and sources on Twitter.
Now, I am not sure that is the best use of the medium–to put a call out for witnesses etc, but its a use, and thats a good thing. With the data rolling in, it would b e great to quickly be able to spin up a way to week out re-Tweets (RT’s) and reactions and get into the straight up news. It’s all part of the bigger story, I get that–but information is so tough to generate in those moments–a clearer path would be great.
In some way, let the community designate “trusted sources” and their Tweets would have a higher weight–and the rest are still there–this is not an exercise in quieting voices. Rather this is a way to make the voices ring out.