"Spend about 10 minutes reading a couple of in-depth news stories about the events of the day. And that’s it: You’ve now caught up with all your friends who spent the past day and a half going out of their minds following cable and Twitter. In fact, you’re now better informed than they are, because during your self-imposed exile from the news, you didn’t stumble into the many cul-de-sacs and dark alleys of misinformation that consumed their lives. You’re less frazzled, better rested, and your rain gutters are clear."
This is all true…but there is an equally strong and valid case to be made that social media and cable news aided in the capture of the suspects. Plastering images of the suspects everywhere, using every tipster and resource to help in the investigation…these things are not irrelevant. How long did it take to find the 1996 Olympics bomber? Months.
Sure, we should probably stick to the age old method of news gathering — check sources, verify facts, print a story. But I’m not ready to throw new media under the bus completely.