Twitter provides unusual transparency of reporting efforts during Giffords coverage

Nieman Journalism Lab
Justin Ellis writes that Twitter can be a great reporting resource during breaking news events, but its transparency can also create some “downright awkward” moments for journalists.

Ellis highlights the media scramble to talk with Caitie Parker, who tweeted on Saturday that she knew alleged perpetrator Jared Loughner.

Within 24 hours she received almost 40 interview requests from reporters who contacted her on e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Paolo Mastrangelo documented some of those requests at NYC The Blog.

Ellis notes a variety of approaches taken by reporters trying to reach Parker. Many left their phone numbers in Twitter messages, and a few tried to conduct the interview publicly.

Those requests, and Parker’s interviews, have driven an ongoing conversation in her Twitter stream about media ethics and the challenges of being near the center of a national news story.

By Monday morning, Parker tweeted that she had given her last interview:

“I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again I AM NOT DOING & WILL NOT DO ANY MORE INTERVIEWS. Please leave my family, & home, alone!”

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