The rules and ethics of using social media for journalism are still being worked out in a grand experiment, of which ABC reporter Nadine Shubailat was lucky to be a part today. While reaching out to possible victims and family members on Twitter for interviews, she encountered... some resistance:
Good friend of mine lives < 10 minutes from Sandy Hook Elementary and has a daughter in kindergarten. Trying to get a hold of him. #newtown— Art! (@artayd2) December 14, 2012
@artayd2 can we talk to your friend who lives in Sandy Hook and whose daughter goes to kindergarten? I'm w ABC News firstname.lastname@example.org— Nadine Shubailat (@NadineatABC) December 14, 2012
@nadineatabc eat a dick.— Art! (@artayd2) December 14, 2012
We don't fault Shubailat for trying to cover her story. But randomly approaching people in high stress situations on Twitter may not be the best way to find interview subjects, come to think of it.