Tim Russert - RIP *update*

I was home today and on Twitter when one of the people I follow tweeted that there was a rumor around that Wikipedia keeps updating reflecting Tim Russert's death on June 14, 2008. Weird! My Twitter friend works at a local TV News affiliate, so he was checking it out. He tweeted back that there was a rumor floating around that Russert had died of a heart attack and NBC was soon going live with Tom Brokaw delivering the news. I checked out Tim Russert on Wiki and sure enough, it said he had died. I checked the NYT, NPR, BBC, CBC, MSNBC, Reuters and Propeller. Nothing! Then twenty minutes later, NBC goes on the air with an emotional Brokaw announcing this sad news. (See video below)

It's amazing how the Internet, bloggers and micro-bloggers have changed journalism. Journalists sometimes call themselves a Fourth Estate, but I believe the instantaneous movement of news is something that will probably drive major stories in the future, drive how journalists report it.

It was quite ironic that the man so much in the mold of good, solid, old school Murrow journalism had his death reported first by Wikipedia and Twitter. I can't draw any conclusion to that, just observe it.

Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after being stricken at the bureau, NBC News said Friday. He was 58. My prayers are with his son, wife and Big Russ. If it's Sunday, It's Meet the Press.

The Mayor of Buffalo, NY ordered all flags in the city to be flown at half staff in their hometown son's honor. His wife and son, sadly, were still in Italy on vacation. Russert left early so he could prepare for Sunday's show. - Keith Olbermann, MSNBC

Mitch’: Mr. Russert’s death is bringing out emotional remembrances from his NBC colleagues, who have been on the air without a break for nearly an hour. Ms. Mitchell made a very rare public reference to her marriage to Alan Greenspan and how Mr. Russert had helped her through the romantic side of her life. She is now tearing up over remembering that Mr. Russert called her “Mitch” and the fact that her father calls her that also.

NBC is saying on its Web site that the cause of death was a sudden heart attack. The network said he was in the studio recording promotions for this Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”

The New York Times.com

*UPDATE* In the June 23 New York Times, there is a story that deals with the story being spread on Twitter and Wikipedia. It sites that a "junior executive" at the Internet Broadcasting Services posted the news on Wikipedia and has since been fired. Read the story here. LINK

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