In Internet Age, No Story Can Be Held

Wikipedia announced Russert's death before NBC did
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2008 7:26 AM CDT
Luke Russert, son of Tim Russert, touches the empty chair that was his father's on the set of "Meet the Press'" Sunday, June 15, 2008, at the NBC studios in Washington.    (AP Photo/Meet The Press, Alex Wong)
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(Newser) – When Tim Russert died on June 13, NBC News held off reporting his death until it had notified the broadcaster's family. But by the time Tom Brokaw announced the news, NBC had been scooped—by Wikipedia, which broke the story 40 minutes earlier. As the New York Times reports, the Internet is ending traditional media's ability to hold a story, for better and for worse.

Russert's entry on Wikipedia had been updated by a junior employee at a web services company in Minneapolis. Although another user deleted the news of his death from the entry temporarily, the story spread via Twitter, the Internet text messaging service, and ended up on  the websites of the Times and the New York Post. NBC wasn't happy that an individual had announced Russert's death before it did: the network complained to his employer and was told he'd been fired.