Imagine if Paul Revere had Twitter trying to inform Boston about whatever’s going on with Tom Brady

From today’s Sports Business Daily:


A main reason for Twitter’s appeal is its “ability to deliver breaking news instantaneously,” but this week we were “reminded on two notable occasions — both involving Tom Brady — that the race to be the first to report something too often results in an incomplete or inaccurate story,” according to Chad Finn of the Boston Globe (linked here).

The news that the Patriots quarterback was “close to signing a three-year contract extension,” first reported on Monday on WEEI-AM’s “Dennis & Callahan Show” and soon thereafter by the Boston Herald, quickly “blew up on Twitter, with varying levels of assuredness.” ESPN’s Adam Schefter was “all over the map as the story evolved.” The NFL reporter first tweeted at 11:15 am on Monday: “Aware of Brady-contract talk. But two knowledgeable people say reports of deal being in place are ‘inaccurate’ and ‘wrong.’ We’ll see.”

Schefter again posted about Brady’s contract talks at 4:27 pm, and then at 6:25 pm wrote in part, “Boston Herald was on to something.”

Finn notes Brady was “at the center of a second Twitter sandstorm” Thursday when “news of his car accident early that morning began trickling out.”

WEEI again was “ahead of the story.” But one “crucial factor was inaccurately reported elsewhere,” then “repeated and re-tweeted by other outlets and reporters.”

Brady, contrary to those reports, “did not have to be extricated from his vehicle.” That was a “critical detail to be wrong about, and a high-profile piece of evidence that racing to Twitter to report something can backfire.”

Also, the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley writes (linked here) that while new media is “very much a part of our culture, and an important one, the old-fashioned rules of the 11 o’clock news and the morning newspaper should still apply: Get it right.”

After Brady’s car accident on Thursday, there “was some rushing to get the news out, and not all of it was accurate.”

It is “doubtful anyone acted maliciously, but there are times when the quest to get a story online six minutes ahead of the competition can get out of hand.”

Buckley notes Brady has “long since stopped being a mere local sports hero.” His celebrity status is “at the point where he has transcended sports to the point that he is a pop icon.”

Citizens, “whether sports fans or not, played a role in this in that they couldn’t get enough Tom Brady news yesterday.”

Added Buckley: “Was the coverage of Brady’s car accident excessive? Well, sure. Were the television helicopters really necessary? Probably not. But it’s a tad hypocritical for anyone in the media to use his or her platform to condemn those who use different tools to get out their message.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email