Twitter:1963

Reading a lot of fascinating history today about the assassination of President Kennedy.  This article:  As It Happened: AP Wire Copy of the JFK Assassination from the Atlantic, is my favorite so far.

It’s an account of the reporters that worked around the clock on that fateful day in 1963 to get the news of the tragedy out to an anxious, information hungry public.  The photos in the article really struck me…these paper wire printouts were the most advanced technology available at the time to disseminate news.  These printouts (fascinating pieces of history in their own right), lined up next to each other in sequential order look just like….Twitter.

jfktweet

Back then, it was a handful of professional news reporters – on the phone and on the wires – supplying information to the world.  How different would the same coverage look today?  Hundreds or thousands of citizen journalists tweeting information (and misinformation) immediately, as things happened.  Would the Zapruder film have been posted on Vine?

If news is the first draft of history, then these pages of raw wire copy are pieces of the rough draft.

Professional journalists – those tie-wearing guys who stayed up all night in November 1963 – aren’t the ones breaking the news anymore.  But I think Journalism is more important than ever.  With so much more raw material from which to assemble our rough draft of history, thoughtful analysis, good writing and keen perspective are more valuable than ever.  Only difference is that you don’t need to wear a tie or work for the AP to participate anymore.

About the Author

Posted by

General Counsel @ Automattic

Categories:

Uncategorized

Add a Response

Your name, email address, and comment are required. We will not publish your email.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The following HTML tags can be used in the comment field: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: