The Media and Ted Kennedy's Death

Friday, 28 August 2009


I usually learn of breaking news first on Twitter. Then, to confirm something I've read in a tweet, I'll log onto CNN's website or do a quick Google search to see if other news agencies are reporting the same thing. Wednesday night, I found out about Senator Ted Kennedy's passing from ABC Network on television.

The network broke into programming and was already running a special report before even one news outlet (even those that only exist on Twitter) had sent out a tweet. Keep in mind this is MY experience so it is possible someone else had the news circulating before ABC. With ABC reporting the news, we checked CBS and NBC - no special reports or crawls on the networks. I looked at CNN, FOX, and MSNBC's websites to see if they had posted the breaking news NOTHING! Since I was at work, I also checked the AP wires, national wires and international wires. Not a word.

Television won getting the news out to the nation first. I find it amazing that they beat Twitter and news web sites. Clearly, ABC had an inside source who tipped them off immediately so they could get into place, cue the obit piece and go on the air. It was at 10:15 p.m. Pacific when all of this happened so they had to call crews together, and an anchor at 1:15 a.m. Eastern. They moved quickly. It is not common in this day of instant communication that television wins in the fight to be first. But ABC did pretty well in this case.

How did you hear about Kennedy passing away? He died after a year long battle with brain cancer at the age of 77.

4 comments

Ted Stryk said...

Hopefully no one will say they learned it from this blog post unless they have been camping in the wilderness all week! That would indicate a scary degree of obliviousness.
Do you know if ABC had the story first or did the other network stations have it?
I found it out on Yahoo's homepage when I woke up that morning.

Anonymous said...

I heard on Joe Scarborough (favortie morning show) when I got up the next morning. I guess the news had broken around midnight my time...alas, I had been asleep for hours.
I wasn't surprised. Robert Novack and Kennedy had the same type of brain tumor - a high grade glioma. With the best treatment, survival is almost universally 12-15 months. They both fell into that category exactly. I was happy Kennedy got to spend time at home with his family and got the "good ending" he had wished for.

CC

Oregon Media Central said...

ABC did, in fact, have it first.

Denae said...

OMC- Great link, thank you!