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Interesting question here: What does the mainstream media do when a citizen breaks news first on social media?

In this case, I don't think the AP stole the information and didn't credit it to the niece of Whitney Houston's hairstylist, but media should credit citizens when it does take from them — when they're right (and the media has verified the story itself).

Your thoughts? (Link via +William Doskoch)
News of the tragic death of Whitney Houston this weekend didn't appear first on television or mainstream news sites. Instead it was revealed in a tweet posted forty-five minutes before the Associated ...
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Unless you're the news originator, news reporting is, by definition, reactive. And there's always been a filtering up process. In 1986, I attended an Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association event in which the then-ME of the Edmonton Journal joked that it was nice to finally see those journos whose stories his paper had so often stolen.

If someone with a connection to the object of the news (in this case, the niece of WH's hair stylist), taps out a tweet, you're going to get scooped.

But that's why it's so incumbent on the media to get it right. I RTed the NYT and AP that night, because I trust them.

Unless I personally knew the hairstylist's niece, I certainly wouldn't have written a 'Whitney is dead' story based solely on her tweet.

I probably wouldn't have RTed until more info came in. Too many pranksters and too much possibility for error (Gordon Lightfoot).
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