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Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

U.S. journalist uses Twitter to break 1,000-word story that traditional media ignored



The same online journalist who scooped traditional print media exposing New Republic writer Stephen Glass as a fraud who fabricated quotes and even sources, has done it again.

Adam Penenberg, whose story about Glass was made famous in a book and movie, last week broke the story of a $131 million verdict against Ford Motor Co., stemming from the death of minor league baseball player Brian Cole who died in 2001 when the Ford Explorer he was in flipped over, according to the news site Gather.

Noticing that traditional news outlets were completely ignoring the story, Penenberg turned to Twitter to get the news out. He posted more than 50 tweets in two hours, creating a complete story of more than 1,000 words, explained High Position, an Internet marketing site. One of his posts even chastised journalists for their negligence: "C’mon reporters. Am I only one who thinks $131 MILLION verdict against FORD in a product liability suit is news??"

In an article for Fast Company, Penenberg explains how he experimented with Twitter to write a story, 140 characters at a time.

In an interview with Penenberg published on TechCrunch, he laments the he-said/she-said aspect of much of today's journalism that lacks any kind of context or explanation. And while he said he doesn't know if his Twitter story represents a new form of journalism -- long-form journalism unfolding in real time -- what matters is not whether it's print or online, but rather its quality, he said.

"It is ironic that online journalists have received bad press from the print media for shoddy reporting," he wrote about Glass. "But the truth is, bad journalism can be found anywhere. It is not the medium; it is the writer.”



7 comments

 
LiLash wrote 6 years 34 weeks ago

LiLash

I like this blog a lot. I regularly check it out for new updates.

 
Dee wrote 6 years 42 weeks ago

The Story Is Out...

Adam Penenberg got the news out to the world, bit by bit, in 256 word bites... does it matter then how it happened?

 
Frontier Marketing wrote 6 years 43 weeks ago

Journalism

Media these days has their own class of warfare. It discriminates on their own biased opinions. Internet is a tool for free speech.

 
Best Smartphones wrote 6 years 44 weeks ago

Technology is Freeing Information

Online journalism sems to be looked down upon by the traditional press but this goes to show that it more than has its place. The public is getting more and more value from journalists who using the new media and, whilst it may never replace the traditional press, it has a crucial role to play.

We can look forward as online jouranlism grows and its structure improves.

Kind regards,

John

 
Lisa wrote 6 years 46 weeks ago

Twitter story

I think it's remarkable that a story of this magnitude was revealed via Twitter. That is a major advantage of the social media era....real time news. Whether or not traditional print media cares to discuss a story or not, we the common people can make it a "trend." Social media has given us back our power and reveals what WE think is newsworthy.

 
John wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

As long as the world has the

As long as the world has the internet anybody can be successful .

 
Guest wrote 7 years 10 weeks ago

internet will remain the protector of free journalism

internet is an arena were the good an evil fight like in the real world but the good is more likely to be found in a free arena, like in a free country.

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