Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When is MySpace a reporting resource?

Kelly McBride (Poynter Institute) writes an excellent column called Everyday Ethics. Her latest concerns the question of using social media for news reporting. Here's an excerpt and a link to the whole thing:

Infant's Death Plays Out On Parents' MySpace Pages

Last week in Sioux City, Iowa, 4-month-old Tryniti Hill died from what medical officials say was likely child abuse. Police arrested her father Paul Hill, 19. Friends consoled her mother, Kayla Hegge, 20. And MySpace became the place that many in the family's community went to glean information, find comfort and assign blame.

News media in Sioux City struggled with how to respond to the mother's and father's active MySpace pages. Last week, Hegge's status update indicated that Hill had "confessed." She went on to say that she lost both her baby and her partner that day. On her wall, her friends offered the mother consolation and the father condemnation. "You guys are such good parents," said one friend.



  1. Wow! That article is amazing. It never ceases to amaze me how personal people get when it comes to blogs, Facebook and MySpace. I guess I am just old fashion because if something like that had happened to me I think I could find some better things to do with my time than comment and update my MySpace page. I agree with the article that we can't be for sure it is even the parent's pages, but it is still amazing. I feel bad for those individuals involved in this tragedy and hope the best for them, but I am still amazed at their use of MySpace page.

  2. My favorite is the broadcast news stories that take pictures off of MySpace pages to use as photos, and use personal bio information as source material.