A rant.

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This morning, as the terrifying and tragic events (prayers for them) at Franklin Regional High School unfolded, my Twitter feed shit the bed.

It didn’t just shit the bed, it shit the bed, puked in it, then left a horse head in it before lighting the bed on fire.

If my Twitter feed this morning was an image, it would have been this:


If it was a gif, it would have been this:

panicIf it was a cat, it would have been this:


Events unfolded as every local media outlet began crawling over each other, pushing each other to be first on the scene. First with details. First with pictures.


Each minute ticked by with my feed filling up with dozens and dozens of tweets.

Marty Griffin hashtagged all of his tweets about the tragedy with #getmarty.

One reporter hashtagged his with #schoolshooting

“I’m hearing …”

“We’ve heard …”

“Sources say …”

#WPXI #schoolstabbing

5, 10, 6, 14, 20. (Aren’t these the Lost numbers?)

20 stabbed.

20 injured.

Not life-threatening.

Four are life-threatening.

Seven are life-threatening. 

None are life-threatening. 

Only students.

One teacher. 

“We’re hearing bullying is a factor…”

Outside during a fire drill.

Inside after someone pulled a fire alarm.

All being taken to Forbes.

Five being taken to Children’s.

All being taken to six different hospitals. 

Principal tackled suspect.

Vice-principal tackled suspect.

Assistant principal tackled suspect. 

Reporters retweeting colleagues retweeting other colleagues. Sports and weather reporters tweeting details. Not one single tweet mentioning a source.

MADNESS. Complete and utter clusterfucky online madness that trickled down to on-air madness.

Social media is newish, but it’s not so new that local media outlets shouldn’t have a plan in place for handling developing news like this. The exact same way they have a plan in place for ON-AIR and IN-PRINT developing news stories.

Media folks who want to defend this morning’s mess, you must ask yourselves this question: If this is not okay in the live studio, why is it okay online?

Does your station allow 17 reporters and three anchors to crowd the floor of the live set and start shouting over each other and into the camera like desperate stockbrokers on the trading floor their version of the facts as they’re hearing them? “I’m hearing six! Over to weather! Well, I’m hearing five over here at weather! Over to sports! We’re hearing 10 over at sports! Traffic? My Facebook friend’s mother’s cousin’s sisterwife says 20 but my brother’s concubine says 19! And that guy behind the camera is hearing 4! Wait! Wait! –”

No. They don’t allow that. They manage the information as it comes in and filter it down before allowing the anchor to read it — and even that allows misinformation to fall through the cracks. But they attempt to manage the information.

It seems, however, that they believe social media means no rules, so you’ve got two dozen Twitter-verified reporters from WPXI tweeting and retweeting and 10 from WTAE and 11 from KDKA and add in the radio folks who are tweeting what they’re hearing from the TV folks, and add in the newspaper folks, and the producers and the cameramen and the editors, and the people working in the business offices, and I’m telling you guys, you guys running the media, this is broken.

This is so so broken.

Station managers figure they don’t control social media. Hands off. Everyone out for themselves, even if we’ve made sure you’ve got the blue checkmark next to your name verifying that you’re our representative. Tweet what you find … even if it’s unverified. Even if your source is the lunch lady’s third cousin. Even if you’re just retweeting your colleague who mistakenly hashtagged this story as a school shooting. Even if you’re retweeting your colleague who is claiming bullying is involved while not really knowing if bullying is involved. Even if you’re retweeting your colleague who says 20 were stabbed when 20 were INJURED. We can’t know who everyone is following, and everyone is not following the same two reporters, so we’ll just let every single damn one of you tweet anything you can get your hands on and we’ll feed that straight to the anchors and we’ll let them just run with that shit, amen. 

I’m getting a little punchy, yes. I’m sorry. But I haven’t been writing my shit for here for nine years to make friends. Hell, I’m an introvert; friends are exhausting.

I’m aware it was worse for people like me who follow multiple reporters from multiple outlets (though I went on a nice unfollow spree this morning, as I should have done after the local media basically tweeted a play-by-play on how the McCandless mother drowned her sons), but I’m guessing that even those of you who only follow a few saw exactly what I’m talking about. Insane, intense retweeting. “Follow this person at our station for the facts! No! Follow this person! We realize he’s the sports reporter, but follow him too! And this guy, he’s the producer of a two-hour block of the news, but follow him for ‘facts!'”

No. No no no no no.

This is not how it needs to work and it’s not helping the story, the situation, or the station/paper/outlet. It’s hurting all of those things, even the on-air reporting.

I’m not here to just complain, I’m here to offer a solution to fix this mess because guess what? It can be fixed.

It can be fixed with three words: MANAGE. THE. MESSAGE.

You’re running WPXI? A major breaking news story happens? You get all your best reporters out there on foot and on the phone and on the web to collect information and do their jobs. And you pick one, maybe two of them to be the official tweeter of this particular story, or you have your official verified main account do it. Any other employee on Twitter will then tweet only ONE THING regarding this story: “We’re on top of this story. Follow @name and @name for the official details.” And they will RT ONLY that account or accounts.

That’s it.

Then they shut the hell up and do their jobs and if they’re assigned to this story, they feed their info and their sources to those two people who are now responsible for determining what will be reported on the official social media account.

Manage the message.


Managing the message would increase your followers, you know why? Because you’re not destroying us viewers and readers and listeners with information that may not even be correct. You’re not having reporters crawling all over each other in the name of FIRST! You’re not having mass unfollowings because we the people are fed up with you the breaking news media.

What you end up with are trusting followers who know you’re going to funnel the raw information in some fashion. That you’re going to manage the information put out there by your employees. You’re virtually pulling everyone off the set and leaving your two trusted anchors to talk with the public. You’re Peter Jennings-ing a Jerry Springer fiasco. 

You end up with reporters, no longer obsessed with first!, putting away Twitter and working to get the best possible information from the best possible sources so that they can feed you that CORRECT information and get rewarded.

So instead of the virtual shouting match you’ve allowed your reporters to devolve into … instead of all of us unfollowing all of you for the 4! 3! 6! 20! 10! nonsense, you end up with one account that tweets this and reports this on the news: “Our reporter @name has confirmed with [source] that the number of injured currently stands at [number].”

“Our reporter @name2 has confirmed with [source] that the number of injured has risen to [number.]”

“Our reporter @name3 has confirmed with [source] that the injured are being transported to [number] hospitals.”

Message. Managed.

Gold star and endless RTs and follows and respect for you.

Unfollows with great Thor-like gusto for everyone else.


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  1. Cassie
    April 9, 2014 2:24 pm

    It’s got to be hard to be in the biz these days, now that social media is king and we don’t HAVE to watch channel whatever to get the latest news. I’m not waiting until 6 to hear if any of those kids are suffering, I want to know now.

    That said, why the hell does it have to come from twenty gabillion people. You hit the nail on the head, Ginny. Perfectly. It is a royal clusterfuck and I just want to know if those kids are going to be OK. Not unverified shit. I want the truth. Ugh.

  2. empirechick
    April 9, 2014 2:26 pm

    AMEN AMEN AMEN! All this shouting makes terrible tragedies even worse because of all the misinformation. The idea of reporting a retweet from a friend of a friend of a kid who knows someone at the school as NEWS is ridiculous.

  3. Greg
    April 9, 2014 2:30 pm

    I think part of the problem is that it’s not just the individual *reporters* who are obsessed with “FIRST!” All the stations want to be seen as BREAKING THE NEWS! and not be behind the curve. Like Cassie said, we no longer have to wait until 6 to have the news brought to us via TV, we now go online to find the news when we want it.

    Which is also why it seems to me that we have so much more misinformation out there. No one wants to take the time to fact-check anything, because someone else might report it first.

    Ok, I need to stop now before your rant sends me into a commiserating rant…

  4. NFLGimpy
    April 9, 2014 2:33 pm

    I also found WPXI’s #schoolstabbing to be a very offensive way to link all of their articles together. You couldn’t come up with a better hashtag to link everything? How about #FRNews or #FRAlert, something other than #schoolstabbing!

    • Mallratbrody
      April 9, 2014 4:11 pm

      What’s wrong with #schoolstabbing? It’s direct and to the point? Should they have used #youngadultfeelingleftoutscreamsoutforattentionbywieldingasharpinstrument?

  5. Jenn H
    April 9, 2014 2:40 pm

    Amen! This is ridiculous! And it isn’t only local news channels…it goes for ALL NEWS outlets! Please, research and only report FACTS! Plain and simple, all the other “information” (using the term lightly) is garbage used to get viewership. Reguardless of what channel or internet source your news comes from, it should all be about the same! Respect for the families involved should be used!

  6. MizzPenz
    April 9, 2014 2:40 pm

    I’m glad I am not the only one that went on an unfollow spree today. The entire thing was disgusting.

  7. oldgraymare
    April 9, 2014 2:52 pm

    and that is one big reason I am not-and probably never will be-on Twitter.

  8. Rachel
    April 9, 2014 2:52 pm

    Too bad it’s not limited to twitter / facebook. It’s almost painful to watch the local news with any breaking news item. Yes it is more organized, but it’s still “Let’s go to John Doe who is at the hospital now lets to to Jane Doe who is outside the school. Now let’s talk to the sister-in-law of the newphew of the man who was walking his dog… “

  9. Scott Snyder
    April 9, 2014 2:58 pm

    I am SO GLAD you ranted! As a Butler-ite living in New Mexico I could only follow the tragedy online. I found your tweets and fished my way through until I found the Marty Griffin tweet to only see him say “sorry, I’m not good at this” Seriously?! As a national spokesperson and social media volunteer for one of the largest disaster response organizations in the country, I’ve been sharing my own commentary with my SM colleagues and will now share your rant!

    Thank you again!!

  10. D
    April 9, 2014 3:16 pm

    This also made me mad: WPXI saying “This deserves a million RTs!” The kid who posted the selfie. They are blatantly trying to get more press and page views. UGH https://twitter.com/WPXI/status/453921484289736704

  11. Suz
    April 9, 2014 3:17 pm

    Someone needed to say this, and I am glad that it was you.

  12. Judi
    April 9, 2014 3:17 pm

    Thank you, Ginny! Jeez…what a freaking circus.

  13. Ben
    April 9, 2014 3:22 pm

    Man, Ginny:

    I don’t know what else to say except that this is SPOT-ON! Thank you!!


  14. SteelCityMagnolia
    April 9, 2014 3:38 pm

    AMEN, Ginny!!!

    I hope you copied this to every single TV station in Pittsburgh to let them know just how amateurish and ridiculous they sound when they try to cover any big, breaking news story.

    Note to WPXI, WTAE, and KDKA: Tell your people to get their collective shit together before they all start running amok on social media. We are counting on you to get the story RIGHT. Not first, but RIGHT. That’s the important thing. Misinformation and a lot of unconfirmed comments on social media just make the situation more confusing and frightening for everyone. Get it RIGHT the first time and you look like rockstars. Get it wrong ten times before you can report the correct facts and you all look like a bunch of bumbling idiot asshats like you all did this morning.

    Prayers for the victims and the suspect. What drives these kids to this these days? It’s sad and scary and makes me glad I don’t have kids..

  15. Sue
    April 9, 2014 3:40 pm

    Yes, agreed, media absolutely needs to manage the message better. But in its defense (and I have no horse in this race, just observing here), media is also giving people what they want. How many folks were immediately onto Twitter and Facebook or tuned into the TV for every breaking news soundbite. What ever happened to taking a deep breath, sending out hopeful prayers/vibes for the situation, and waiting for the story to unfold with Real Facts? This happens every time there is a major story, and it’s gotten to the point where I take a little social media vacation until things calm down, both from the media and the nimrods who repost everything they read online (just in case we haven’t read it somewhere else). So, me, I can’t only blame the media for dropping bits of garbage down the public’s throats when the public itself acts like ravenous birds with mouths agape, ready and willing to swallow it all. People need to become more discerning readers and social media consumers. It goes both ways, I think.

  16. carabee
    April 9, 2014 3:41 pm

    This is exactly why I don’t follow reporters. It’s a circus when a big news event happens. I really hope that as social media evolves that news outlets adopt exactly the sort of approach you outlined. They may not always be lightening fast, but at least they will be accurate a whole hell of a lot more often. And that really is far far more important.

  17. Zach
    April 9, 2014 3:47 pm


  18. Kim
    April 9, 2014 3:51 pm

    Here’s a thought for people from WPXI, how about you put your phone down while you are working and stay off the social media. I am quite sure WPXI has a social media department that should be handling twitter aka social media.

  19. AmyLK
    April 9, 2014 4:05 pm

    Fabulous Rant! Right on point.

  20. Granny617
    April 9, 2014 4:17 pm

    What happened this morning it totally understandable when it comes to “news stations” these days. They all scramble for the same thing – try to get the first word out that the perp/shooter/knife wielder is a member of the Tea Party and/or is a white supremacist and/or is a white Christian/Republican on an evil mission, blah, blah, blah. My heart goes out to the victims of this dastardly event but the MSM news orgs – both local and national – are completely disgraceful in their liberal quest to pin it on someone they disagree with politically.

  21. Janelle
    April 9, 2014 5:29 pm

    I feel like this chaos plays into a few different things. For one, we all want to know what’s going on as it unfolds. That said, you nailed it–we want to know facts that have been confirmed, not just some mess of misinformation that’s gonna end up unscrambled in articles (which will also get tweets…) later on. So I think in an effort to provide the most up-to-date information possible and of course gain followers, they figure whatever unverified chaos they can throw in is fair game. The problem with the internet and even the 24-hour news cycle is that the focus in reporting has shifted from accuracy to speed. Who cares if the information’s true or not if you’re reporting it first? You can correct it later.

    Speaking of the 24-hour news cycle, though, I was at work and saw it on CNN in our lobby. I couldn’t really keep up with it because I had to, you know, work, but when I passed back through later and saw they were stuck back on non-updates on the Malaysia plane, I figured things were under control and there was nothing new to say.

  22. Khaleesi
    April 9, 2014 5:30 pm

    Oh thank God, a voice of reason amidst the insanity.

    Human nature can be so ugly. We (the public) love our gossip and feed on the tweets, FB posts and “first hand info”/personal drama presented to us as news. We’ve all seen traffic bog down when there’s an accident on the highway. My neighbors (myself included) become like a flock of hens if a police car, ambulance or fire engine stops on our street. Today the media is all about “give the people what they want” and screw the facts. I’m just as guilty because I don’t want to miss anything. Or what? Will it change anything if I don’t check for updates every 5 minutes? I think it gives me a false sense of control. Crazy. But nothing will change as long as the demand for this chaos is there.

    You’ve done me a service. I’ve been shamed into turning off my phone, TV and iPad and going to say a prayer :)

  23. Heather
    April 9, 2014 5:35 pm

    Well said. I hope local news gets the message. In trying to “break” the news, they made a terrible, chaotic, and tragic scene worse.

  24. Suzie-Q
    April 9, 2014 5:47 pm

    Perfect Ginny….I can barely watch the local news for all of the reasons you mention. I’d like more professionalism and less “hype”. Unfortunately….pandora’s box has been opened and I’m not sure anyone is going to turn back.

    It’s definitely a game of ratings and ego.. #calmdownreporters; #checkyourfactsthenreport; #ethicsinjournalism; #byebyetwitter

  25. bluzdude
    April 9, 2014 6:17 pm

    All of these media tweeters are essentially saying the same thing: “Listen to ME. Follow ME. Get your news from US, not those shits over at WYNZ…”

  26. Melinda
    April 9, 2014 6:40 pm

    I thought twitter was bad, so I shut it down today… And then there was the live coverage on TV (just as bad). The reporter felt necessary to REPORT (and repeat) on the GARAGE at the police station that the suspect was driven through several times in his broadcast. WHAT DO I CARE ABOUT A FREAKING GARAGE DOOR?!?! How the heck is this news?!

    #GetItTogetherPghNews is a more ldeserving hashtag.

  27. Joe
    April 9, 2014 7:47 pm

    Marty Griffin. #moron

  28. Jen
    April 9, 2014 8:26 pm

    I am glad that I was busy teaching at a school today & didn’t have time to check my Twitter feed. You make an excellent point. Unfortunately, your suggestion constitutes JOURNALISM — the way it used to be and the way it should be. Journalism is factual reporting of information. I don’t remember the last time I saw or heard any journalism on so-called Media sources — web, TV or radio. What we have now masquerading as “news” is simply GOSSIP. I’m with you! Please, for the love of God, will somebody learn how to do journalism again? We would LOVE to be an informed nation of people who are in possession of facts, not gossip, hearsay, supposition, or a news personality’s opinion. The facts! Just the facts. Why is that too much to ask?

  29. Karen
    April 9, 2014 8:34 pm

    ..this is one of the MAIN reason I don’t DO Twitter. TV is bad enough, online newsfeeds are as bad….the last thing I want is my phone filled, beeping and vibrating off the desk with BS. Thanks as always for the rant! xo

  30. Juliette
    April 9, 2014 9:37 pm

    The only local news person I follow is @verz. He only tells what he knows and doesn’t play any of the panic! tactics the others love so much.

  31. Ginny's Dad
    April 9, 2014 10:02 pm

    The pursuit of Ratings and advertising money is destroying real journalism and investigative reporting. Then some reporter asks the suspect’s father some cockamamie question when he arrives home. Is there no decency in the media? I’m sure the parents are devastated over what their son did. Thank God nobody was killed.

  32. Sheila
    April 9, 2014 10:43 pm

    I gave up twitter for Lent & was so glad that I did. I know it’s great for getting news but days like today make me want to wait to read the paper tomorrow. And what the heck is #getmarty supposed to mean?

  33. Former reporter
    April 9, 2014 11:18 pm

    Excellent point in this piece. I’m glad to hear that ethics are still alive out there in journalism. If only they were more common.

  34. Nathan Wolfe
    April 9, 2014 11:43 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with your statements! Having been involved in investigations hearing these reporters disseminate information that could very well compromise an investigation was not only sickening, it was classic “we reported it first” rubbish! While listening to kdka radio today I had the great displeasure of listening to perhaps the worlds biggest idiot John Mcintire asking these poor children whom without a doubt have been through the worst incident of their young lives to recite every gory detail they could think of including “please describe the details of the injuries you saw”. Are you f’ing kidding me you idiot!!!? Putting peoples names on air live without first verifying the information is not only irresponsible it is also unethical! And could jeopardize the future investigation! I have seen stupid before, but this takes it to an entirely new level…

    • SteelCityMagnolia
      April 10, 2014 9:33 am

      Absolutely agree with this. These reporters trying to get interviews from kids without their parents present need to be fired on the spot. You just can’t DO that! Legally, it could come back to bite them on the arse, and maybe it should, just to teach them a lesson.

  35. Zip
    April 10, 2014 12:46 am

    This from Ashlee Hardaway:

    “For those who think today’s tragedy is easy for media to cover-think again. We are humans, parents too-our jobs are just diff than yours”.

    I tried searching through her twitter feed to see if anyone called her job ‘easy’. Another tweet was ‘encouraging’ others to apply for her job. Again, not a whole lot of critical remarks from what I can see.

    Hey Ashlee. You want to be credible? Have me follow you? How about just reporting what you know is credible. Do your job. Nobody thinks your job is easy, and it shouldn’t be on days like this. Frankly, just have a piece of STHU and do your job. It’s not about YOU.

    • Nathan Wolfe
      April 10, 2014 1:09 am

      What ashley is missing is this day is NOT about her and her “woo is me”! You don’t compromise an investigation by releasing info not privie too the public, and or make a statements on air that’s YOU OR YOUR PRODUCER HAS VERIFIED TO BE ACCURATE! this is what those in the journalism industry call “journalism integrity”! Again, this is NOT ABOUT YOU!

    • SteelCityMagnolia
      April 10, 2014 9:36 am

      Way to make it all about you, Ashlee.

      Newsflash! It’s NOT all about you. It’s about the victims. The suspect. The families. The students and staff at the school. Don’t try to cash in your drama chips on someone else’s pain.

      She’s disgusting. Nothing like fishing for pats on the head and attagirls for doing her damn job.

  36. bucdaddy
    April 10, 2014 2:32 am

    If you watch TV “news” and don’t subscribe to a newspaper it’s your own goddamn fault.

  37. Calamity Jane
    April 10, 2014 8:46 am

    Do not assume that the people bringing you the news are smarter than you are (you guys are smarter than that!)……I spent many years inside newsrooms and for every blathering reporter, there are at least 3 or 4 psychotic, nut-job managers in need of a fresh dose of Valium, elevating the degree of difficulty and insanity levels associated with covering these types of stories……(you needed to be in the newsroom when Baumhammers went on his shooting spree….WOW!!!!)

    I don’t know about anyone else, but as soon as I hear the little blonde anchorette say “We were the first to report” or “Our cameras were first on the scene”….I turn the TV off.

    After this story has “lost its legs”, the news folks will be back to covering the latest gang-banger shooting in the hood or trailer fire in Fayette….Or maybe that in depth probing interview with Joe and Mary Six-pack.

    Just a few thoughts!

    • Zip
      April 11, 2014 1:39 am

      I agree with what Jane posted, and furthermore, the lack of smarts comes from a column (blog) from ‘The Fan’ on how sports are not important from Colin Dunlap.

      Gee, thanks Colin. Self promote much? Stick to Haiku’s and why you are taking calls from yinzers whiffing on last call women at the pub.

      Of course, the natural effect is to give him a social pat on the ass and say ‘great job’. When you really think about it, anyone with a sense of feeling on this tragedy gets it. Nobbody is going to read that garbage and a light bulb goes off.

  38. Pingback: Alex Hribal stabbing case: if you believe the media coverage wasn’t that major, why? Is it because the weapon was a knife or because there were no immediate deaths? | The Context Of Things

  39. Pingback: “Crazy comments” from people who won’t congratulate the media for making a circus | sloover.com

  40. Jake
    April 10, 2014 9:24 pm

    If you don’t like all the chaotic tweeting during a tragedy, here are a couple solutions.

    1. Don’t rely on twitter for hard news. Stick to the newspaper and TV stations’ web sites.

    2. Follow one person from each outlet, or only follow the official twitter feed for that outlet.

    There. Done. Insert trite animated GIF made popular by blogs in 2008.

    After all the dust settled yesterday, some time in the afternoon, everyone seemed to agree on 22 as the number of the injured. Not until about 8 or 9PM did everyone start to report the correct number of 24. Therefore, your managing the message idea wouldn’t have worked anyway.

    Out of one side of the mouths of yinz social media fanatics, you laud twitter for being an immediate, non-corporate, unfiltered source of information during emergencies, traffic jams and severe weather events. It’s glorious because it can reach the masses instantly. But out of the other side of your mouths you’re now saying that same unfiltered and immediate message needs to be vetted, run up the corporate flagpole and 100% accurate before some beat reporter can tweet out something they’ve been told by more than one reliable source? You can’t have it both ways. So which do you want?

    Maybe the better approach would be to be reasonable and understand that during times of emergency and tragedy, there’s a whole lot of chaos that’s impossible to manage. And it’s a lot better to give people a general idea of the extent of the severity of the event in the short term knowing that information is being disseminated too quickly to be managed in an orderly fashion and it’s probably not 100% accurate. Would yesterday have been more acceptable if only 5 kids were stabbed instead of 24? And finally, it’s twitter. It’s not the AP or Reuters. It’s a bunch of people sharing information, unfiltered and not ordered and immediate, which is what we all love about the internet. Deal.

    • Nathan
      April 11, 2014 12:09 am

      I hear you jake, but stating the FULL NAME OF A MINOR on the air liveis inexcusable!!! John Maintire should be removed from any and or all broadcast shy of “here is the weather folks”! What he did live on air is something you just don’t do!

    • Sheila
      April 11, 2014 5:21 am

      The newspaper is no better. Not only did the Trib post a picture of the assailant in the police car in which you could clearly identify him, they posted a picture of one of the victims who’s name had not been released by his parents or the hospital.

    • Janelle
      April 12, 2014 8:34 pm

      There’s a difference, though, between unfiltered information about traffic and unfiltered/likely unverified information about something like a stabbing, especially when kids are involved. Twitter may not be a reliable, reputable news source, but when the information is coming through reporters and news publications, there ought to be some sort of filter or reasonable fact-checking happening. I understand that in the chaos of something like this that’s much easier said and done, and it might even be understandable if it seemed to be an effort to provide up-to-date information, but it seems to be more of a scramble to be able to take credit for breaking a story or an attempt to gain followers. It’s not a problem exclusive to Twitter, either.

  41. Heisenberg
    April 11, 2014 9:18 am

    Great rant, Ginny… and much needed. I totally agree an hope that the people you have un-followed take note. Things need to change.

  42. gunnlino
    April 11, 2014 10:12 am

    Again your beautiful well worded rant hit the mark exactly . Gave more support to my not having a Twitter account , not wanting one and not ever obtaining one . Many thanks for your continuing efforts .

  43. Rebekah
    April 11, 2014 12:33 pm

    I was a reporter for the Post-Gazette for three years. I was the last person to cover Westmoreland County full time — the bureau in Greesburg closed when I left in 2006.

    I, like everyone else, was horrified to hear what happened at Franklin Regional the other day. I was not surprised to see the great clusterf— media circus that followed. The complete lack of professionalism or ethics I saw every day among the TV news “teams,” the obstructionist, tin-badge attitude of local EMS and law enforcement (with a few outstanding exceptions), and the Pittsburgh media´s general lack of regard and awareness of any story outside Allegheny County all combined to convince me it was time to go.

    Westmoreland County (where Franklin Regional HS is located) is a “news vortex.” Wild, weird things happen there with great frequency. It is the largest county in Pennsylvania, mileage-wise, and it´s got everything from Pittsburgh-burbs wealth to glaring rural poverty. It needs some full-time coverage, and all it´s got is the Tribune-Review in Greensburg. Sad but true.

    When big news happens, the shirts in Pittsburgh send in the blondes, who jump into a feeding frenzy of “get it first now, get it right later.” Twitter simply exacerbates the problem, with news junkies watching every new entry and pumping more air into the ego festival on the other end.

    Until consumers start demanding responsible reporting and editing, and start paying for it, nothing will change.
    Media exists to give the people what they want, while selling the maximum number of ads. If you get your news for free, you are getting what you paid for.

  44. mike
    April 11, 2014 4:14 pm

    #kristinesorensonistoogoodfor #getmarty

  45. jlinko
    April 11, 2014 4:51 pm

    Amidst this media frenzy about violence and a hint about bullying as the cause, a very different local story is floating around various news sites and blogs, but is being completely ignored by the Pittsburgh mainstream media. Marty Griffin has been implored by several followers on his Facebook page to look into it; their pleas have thus far been ignored.

    The story alleges a much different, perhaps highly questionable approach to bullying allegations by the administration at South Fayette High School. More info at: http://benswann.com/exclusive-special-ed-student-records-audio-proof-of-bullying-threatened-with-charges-of-warrentless-wiretapping/

    Even if there is completely nothing to the story, our local media have an obligation to look into the allegations and report their findings to their readership.

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