Across The Media Universe: Hokie Edition

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A New Media Moment: In the aftermath of the tragedy, Wikipedia shined. "From the contributions of 2,074 editors, at last count, the site created a polished, detailed article on the massacre, with more than 140 separate footnotes, as well as sidebars that profiled the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, and gave a timeline of the attacks," notes the New York Times. The article was visited more than 750,000 times in the two days after the shootings. Wikipedia is not the place to go for original reporting, but it "distinguishes itself by the ability to bring all the facts, and useful background information, together in one place," says Wikipedia administrator Michael Snow.

An Old Media Oops: The Chicago Sun Times, relying on "an utterly impeccable source," erroneously reported early on that authorities were investigating a Chinese national for the shootings. Jon Friedman talked to the editor and managing editor about the mistake, and they "vigorously defended" the newspaper's work, but Friedman still says they slipped up. "The Sun-Times should have tried a hell of a lot harder to confirm the information," he writes. "It should have had assurances from multiple and reliable sources before it made this proclamation, which had explosive repercussions… A newspaper doesn't have to publish every bit of speculative stuff it receives, even from so-called impeccable sources."

An All Media Kiss Off: Over the weekend, the Virginia Tech student government called on reporters to leave their campus by today, when classes resumed. Students need to return to normal, says spokeswoman Liz Hart, and "[t]he best way to know how to do that is get the campus back to normal." With today's resumption of classes being treated by most news outlets as a newsworthy event, however, there are still plenty of reporters working the campus.