Brian Stelter accidentally tweets tip about Amanpour leaving ‘This Week’

New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter had an awkward Twitter moment this afternoon when he accidentally tweeted to his 97,000 followers that he had heard that Christiane Amanpour would be departing as host of ABC’s “This Week.” (Stelter was right, ABC and CNN announced Tuesday evening.) Though he was embarrassed, other journalists said he was merely using Twitter as a reporting tool, as many have praised NPR’s Andy Carvin for doing in reporting on the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. So what was it, a gaffe? An example of reporting in the open? Both? After reading what happened, share your thoughts below.

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • Amelie Cashmore

    One has to ask, if Stelter
    was attempting to DM another and sent the tweet out live instead, where was the
    person’s Twitter handle in the tweet – DM or not? The intended recipient’s
    Twitter username didn’t exist; only the context of the tweet itself. Did Stelter
    not notice at the time he was addressing said tweet to no specific Twitter user
    while typing out the tweet content? All seems somewhat sketchy and possibly we
    are being taken for fools with his justification of the tweet.

  • http://www.ratdiary.com spragued

    All this post proves is that if you stare into your navel hard enough Zooey Deschanel will stare back at you.

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    I decided not to re-embed the link because it would change the intro text in the Storify blurb.

    Steve Myers

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    @twitter-8823792:disqus You’re the second person who has asked about that photo. Storify automatically grabbed an image from the NYT page, but it was for a photo that was connected to a link for another story. I didn’t have the option of excluding it, but I may be able to re-embed the link now that that promo box is linking to something else.

    Steve Myers
    Poynter.org

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    @twitter-325927963:disqus I’m not trying to mold this into anything; I’m posing a question. Brian obviously made a mistake. But some people — including journalists who confirm before reporting — said that he shouldn’t be embarrassed to use Twitter as a reporting tool. Thus my question, whether people see this as a gaffe or reporting in the open. @AndrewGibson:twitter tweeted, “I think it was a reporting blessing disguised as a curse,” to which @BrianStelter:twitter responded, “Well put.”

    Steve Myers
    Poynter.org

  • http://twitter.com/BIF Barry Friedman

    Stelter was right to issue the oops; he was still confirming a rumor, not reporting a fact. But he was also right to keep the tweet live for the reasons he stated.

    My question: Why is Zooey Deschanel’s photo displayed by the link to Stelter’s blog post about Amanpour? Is Zooey playing a younger Christiane her in some upcoming biopic?

  • http://twitter.com/ThePolEcon Dan Mitchell

    What are you asking here? Clearly, he didn’t think it was a case of “reporting in the open,” because clearly he meant the question to be private. Because he didn’t have the story confirmed – he was *trying to confirm it* before reporting it. Because that’s what journalists do. (Or, did. )

    In any case, as much as you obviously would like to, you can’t mold this into an example of “open source journalism” or whatever buzzphrase you wish you could apply, because the reporter himself has already said what it was an example of – a simple mistake.