Two Stories I Don’t Want to See about US Airways Flight 1549

I think this should be a series.

Everyone is safe from the Thursday afternoon incident in the Hudson river. Which means people are going to take about a five-second deep breath and then jump right into to over-analyzing.

Yes, the first images broke on Twitter. Absolutely fascinating, if you ask me, because of the angle and the style. I don’t know if I would have seen that photo without Twitter, this is true.

But, it doesn’t mean you can write the following two stories:

1) Citizen Journalism + Twitter = Heaven. No, it’s a valuable resource that provides a unique, first-person snapshot of events. Twitter is bite-sized, which means its great for fast reactions or pictures, but we aren’t going to see the end of all top-down media because we are all equipped with camera phones. It’s a reaction – not the vehicle for analysis. A couple of reasons, but “Retweet” doesn’t imply a conversation – especially when, by that point, everyone had turned to CNN to watch unfold.

2) Social media provided all of the comfort when everyone was OK. Twitter/Facebook helped get the word out about how everyone was safe, but I’m sure that people directly impacted wanted to hear a voice, and traditional media played a big part on getting to the scene with more images. There’s an important lesson in the value of Breaking News in all of this, but something should be said for personal interaction to those who’s loved ones were involved.

I think we got an incredibly interesting perspective out of social media, but let’s take it for what it is and not too much more. Everyone’s safe, that’s what matters.

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One Comment on “Two Stories I Don’t Want to See about US Airways Flight 1549”

  1. Jen says:

    I do agree on both major points. I hate all the “aren’t we so great, for using twitter?” tweets, almost as much as the “Aren’t we so great, the way we are covering this story” ads that traditional media often runs while they are covering a big story.

    However, I would add a third: There ought to be a common sense rule that a media outlet would not tweet “Flight bound for Charlotte crashes into the Hudson” without adding “and everyone reportedly survived,” when that fact is already known. Hate to think someone with a loved one on the plane would hear about it that way.

    Use your 140 characters wisely and learn to shorten your URLs so you can get both points in.


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