Employee at NBC contractor fired for network on Russert death

When Meet The Press host Tim Russert died, NBC held the news so it could inform Russert's family first. An employee at Internet Broadcasting Services, which provides web services for some of NBC affiliates, went ahead and updated Russert's Wikipedia page anyway. Then the New York Times saw the update and broke the news before NBC itself. NBC executives heard about the slip, got upset and now, IBS has responded by firing the employee who updated the page. Silicon Alley Insider's Peter Kafka and Henry Blodget say IBS shouldn't have fired the employee and that NBC should get with the times. Citizen journalism happens, Blodget writes, "and the genie isn't going back in the bottle." Except what the IBS employee did wasn't "citizen journalism."

Citizen journalism is when a person not in the news profession sees news happen and reports it. What the IBS employee did was like an employee at a newspaper's printing press calling up the competition before starting the next morning's run. The Wikipedia page update was a leak, and when caught, leakers get fired. (Except when they live in California and are smart enough to set up anonymous email accounts.)