Tim Russert Has Died

13 06 2008

First of all, once again I found breaking news on Twitter.

Tim Russert died today of a heart attack. He was 58 years old.

I’m finding that Twitter breaks news, be it the death of a newsman to political shenanigans quicker than anything I’ve ever seen. With a discussion about how these things impact each of us where people can process it together…

Added: Jack Lail posts this about Wikipedia’s breaking news site breaking the story before the AP could move it.




13 responses

13 06 2008

This makes me sad. I liked Tim Russert.

13 06 2008

This is a discussion for another time, but I’d like to talk about why Wikipedia updating before AP gets out a bulletin is significant. I’m not saying it is, not saying it isn’t, just saying that it’s one of those Old Media Vs New Media clashes that some people automatically think New Media should trump, but I’m wondering if that’s necessarily the case.

Save it up, let’s talk about it another day…

13 06 2008

It was on my mind when I wrote the post, but you are right.
It’s the connectivity of how Twitter comes together during a loss though which was my point of the post. I guess that didn’t come across as well as it should have.
The issue where there is a discussion over loss is an incredibly powerful thing. And, yeah, I’m a news person so there was that. Remember, I’m a deadwood newsgirl.

13 06 2008

I just wonder if, in the case of Wikipedia, the fact that some random person out there updated Tim Russert’s page before AP could carry the story is necessarily a good thing. I mean, it’s good the page was updated, but having the power to do so so quickly is a little scary. Almost like one of those alien typewriters in The Tommyknockers that automatically types what you think just after you think it.

Sometimes I think we need to take a minute to process breaking news before the entire factual database of our lives is updated to reflect the new reality. It’s just not that vital to update Wikipedia immediately, and maybe it seems a little disrespectful to his memory. That may be all that’s bothering me about it. Kinda like someone having his funeral service planned, the casket purchased and wheeling him halfway in the grave before the body’s cold…

I know, that’s crude but that’s kind of what it seemed to me. Give it a day, that’s all I ask.

13 06 2008

Don’t do wikipedia that much myself, Barry.
But for news people it’s very interesting to see the how news is carried out. Jack Lail noticed this as I did and the thing is, it’s what we do for a living. So we pay attention. I found it to be very interesting that Twitter is breaking news so quickly.
And it’s not going to change.
For people in the news business, it is of utmost interest.
And news cycles are sometimes over in a day. News isn’t always pleasant. You know that I was as impacted by Russert’s death as anyone. But the issue of how the Twitterverse reacted and how the conversation continued for several hours and how it evolved was important.
It was in the moment. Folks, not just news people, were involved together.
I adore you dear, but I don’t apologize for my observations.

14 06 2008
Jeffraham Prestonian

Well, see… I hate to hear of Russert’s passing. My condolences go to his family, friends and co-workers (even if they’re WAY overboard on the story even @ 14hrs. into it).

However, it gravely concerns me to hear so many professionals expressing admiration for Russert’s “journalistic integrity/standards,” ’cause that’s a damning indictment of the media, overall.

If you look at Russert’s testimony from the I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby trial, you’ll find the one statement that stands out for me: His claim that he considers all conversations with officials “off-the-record” by default, which is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the standard that any “working man’s journalist” would apply, IMO.

Perhaps, as many have said today, Russert was the best in the business, but realize that this statement squares perfectly with public opinion polls that say the mainstream media is not at all trusted.

14 06 2008
Jeffraham Prestonian

And hey, I don’t care for her that much, but since no one would even consider hiring Bill Moyers for the job, I think Gwen Ifool would be a good person to take the seat at MTP.

14 06 2008

JP, I keep going back to how the story was broken. There were things I liked about Russert and then there were things he did that I didn’t like.
Indulge me. I’ve been watching BSG last night and moved over to watching that guy live tweet the earthquake from Japan. The news media saturation of Russert’s passing has moved into something I honestly can’t recall seeing except when president’s have died (or Anna Nicole Smith, which made my brain bleed.)
His communication style was very easy and had a feel to it that was comfortable. My mom was the biggest liberal ever but she liked how he seemed accessible. He had a way about him that seemed okay. I’ve been in news for awhile, his strengths were his ease in how he communicated. Let’s forget one moment everything else but that. He was masterful at it.
Things I didn’t like from a political perspective was the insidernish (new word I just made up) with the Scooter Libby trial. I agree with you on that.
Now, with that said, Twitter and other networks like that are changing the way news is delivered to us. That was basically my focus.
On a personal note, I have had to cover stories about people dying that I knew. I understood the grief of his coworkers that were live on MSM. Grief has no political persuasion.
Sometimes, as in my response to Barry, watching how new ways to gather news is important. I work in deadwood. It’s a different bird. Watching things like this can only help me as news changes ’cause I want to remain relevant and not a relic as things start to evolve.

16 06 2008

I’m not sure where your consternations are coming from, ‘coma, but I wasn’t trying to impinge on your observations, I was just talking about Wikipedia and the online “permanent record” of the world. I wasn’t talking about Twitter at all, and am glad for the way it pushes breaking news and discussion out to the masses. Wikipedia isn’t news, however – it’s an encyclopedia, a (somewhat) factual resource, not a news feed. I just thought someone having the power to update his page so quickly after his death seemed a little morbid to me, like the undertaker in the old Westerns who’d measure the hero for his coffin right before the big gunfight. I have no problem whatsoever with how Twitter or any other online or “deadwood” news service broke or followed the story…

16 06 2008

Barry, it’s all good. We are on the same page with our observations. No consternation here although I felt like I was having to defend myself a bit.
Seriously, it’s all good.
Now back to the non-virtual job.

16 06 2008

On a note of *real loss* Stan Winston died today.

16 06 2008

I saw him in a lecture once. It was amazing.
HE was amazing.
Life is too damned short.

18 06 2008
Tim Who

Was Tim Russert a movie star or rock star? Charlton Heston only got about one or two days of press at best.

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