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BBC admits mistakes using Twitter sources

BBC News
The BBC is just one of many organisations looking to Twitter for news

The slightly unsettling trend that has pillars of the British media establishment tapping new internet sources for news is on shaky ground this weekend after criticism of the BBC for paying too much attention to Twitter.

After running a false Twitter rumour as part of its coverage of the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks, the corporation has responded by admitting that it might have been more careful.

Lesson learned

Online news editor Steve Herrmann addressed the inaccurate information through his blog: "Should we have tried to check it and then reported back later, if only to say that we hadn't found any confirmation? I think in this case we should have, and we've learned a lesson."

Nevertheless, it's important to remember that traditional eyewitness interviews by news media have long been a cornerstone of accurate reportage, so it should be obvious that garnering the same information through new channels has a future.

Fast-moving world

In spite of his near apology, Herrmann himself practically says as much: "The truth is, we're still finding out how best to process and relay such information in a fast-moving account like this."