Sam Kirkland, New Orgs Could Have Done a Better Job Tweeting Shutdown News, Poynter.
Yes, yes and yes. Kirkland points to tweets from large media organizations (USA Today, The AP and The Wall Street Journal) on September 27, which state that the Senate “passed” a bill to avert the government shutdown. He writes:
Every editor should know how a bill becomes a law — but no editor should assume every reader does. That’s why some of the breaking news tweets before and during the government shutdown were incomplete and potentially misleading.
He points to large media organizations because the reach of their tweets is enormous.
The real story that day — and every day since, until Wednesday — was what House Republicans would agree to. Democrats in the Senate passing a budget bill meant little if it was dead on arrival in the GOP-led House, as the New York Times’ fantastic ongoing back-and-forth graphic showed throughout the shutdown.
So, the all-caps #BREAKING treatment perhaps made the Senate’s move seem more consequential than it really was, especially with wording that could be misconstrued as indicating the Senate’s vote actually meant the shutdown threat was over. Those three tweets weren’t factually wrong, but responses to them indicated at least some confusion from readers.