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Word count: 297 words

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help writers. Today I look at a piece from Mashable on the Boston Marathon bombing.

I was speaking with a colleague about media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, recently.  I described my disappointment with the TV reporting — endless, repetitive, lacking insight — and he told me about the twitter coverage, which was brief (140-characters), fast-paced and interesting. He described how Seth Mnookin, co-director of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing, grabbed a press pass and followed the police on campus, tweeting live all night.

My colleague also observed that while Twitter was first,  the tweets from trained journalists were far more reliable (and interesting) than the ones from “citizen journalists.” Of course! Print journalists, in particular, are trained to be skeptical and to demand proof.

In a terrific story on Mashable, I found it fascinating to read how the Boston Globe covered the explosion, especially on its blog. Said BostonGlobe.com editor Jason Tuohey: “Some of the loudest conversations you’ll hear around here when we’re doing the live blog are: ‘Have you verified that? Many of the things we saw we did not put in the live blog. We wanted to make sure that we were giving people accurate information.”

Although print reporters have the right instincts, the digital world has shaken their job security. The loss of ad revenues is closing doors My own former newspaper, just announced another set of buy-outs to be followed by lay-offs and many of us believe it may close permanently within the next five years.

I can remember when it was a great paper. This makes me very sad.

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