There is a thread of commentary in recent days about the intersection of social media with last week's events in Massachusetts.
Ali Velshi, the recently departed CNN anchor for Al Jazeera, writes about the pain that comes with making a mistake in this environment of merciless social media criticism. His former employer was often criticized last week for its hasty coverage, and as David Carr notes in his latest Media Equation column, the impact left some nasty marks. Velshi notes the pressure to be first, or at least not to be last, but also that reporters understand the importance of being correct. CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge notes the same in his recent column, but stresses the need for accuracy over speed.
Andy Carvin, the National Public Radio journalist who has been at the forefront of using social media, reflects on the value of the new platforms in a speech to the International Symposium for Online Journalism. He calls on journalists to use social media in a different way, in particular to slow down in their breathlessness about reporting and to be transparent with the audience about what is known and not.
Felix Salmon's latest blog for Reuters examines the phenomenon last week of how mainstream media integrated social media's coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the manhunt. Salmon notes the indiscretion of many mainstream outlets in reporting whatever information appeared to surface without verification. He worries the social media tail is wagging the mainstream dog. Media transparency is good, he notes, but: "Just because your readers can peer behind the curtain, doesn't mean you have any responsibility to yank it open yourself."