In this internet age where everyone has a huge publishing platform at their disposal, and people are encouraged to become "citizen journalists" is it even possible anymore to keep "news" events quiet? A key example under discussion was the recent passing of famed TV news anchor Tim Russert. About a half an hour after he was confirmed dead at a hospital, someone had updated his Wikipedia page with the information
-- a full 38 minutes before NBC announced his death. It turns out that the edit came from someone working at a company that managed various NBC affiliate websites. The employee was apparently fired -- though, you could question why. We've reached an age where many people feel that sharing the news
is the best way to interact with news these days.
Still, it does raise some ethical questions. As Mathew Ingram asks
Was the person who changed the Wikipedia page committing an act of journalism, or divulging privileged information?
This used to be a much simpler question when journalists were journalists -- and privileged information was privileged information. But the boundaries of both things have become quite blurred these days, and that's only going to result in more questions being raised before society agrees on the answers.