Curious Testament: Employee Fired After Breaking Story of Russert’s Death on Wikipedia

Many would find it a bit of a curious testament to the late Tim Russert that a junior employee who broke the story of his death was fired for updating Russert’s Wikipedia site. When Russert died on June 13th, the first public word appeared on Wikipedia and NBC officials were irate — since they were still trying to reach family and control the story for their own coverage.

Russert collapsed around 2:23 and his death was announced on NBC at 3:39. However, the story was already running on the Internet due to an update on Wikipedia at 3:01 p.m.

Internet Broadcasting Services, a company in St. Paul, Minn., that provides Web services to local NBC TV stations. I.B.S. found the employee and fired him.

I can well understand the anger at NBC. They needed to be sure that the Russert family was told in a respectful and caring way. They also had an interest in controlling the story. However, firing this person seems a bit heavy handed since this was likely down with any harmful intent. It was always doubtful that such a story could remain under wraps for more than an hour.

For the full story, click here.

One thought on “Curious Testament: Employee Fired After Breaking Story of Russert’s Death on Wikipedia”

  1. This is the case against the “Free Press” in a nutshell.

    Just as corporate media reporters are all over the Obama campaign for misleading them so they couldn’t stake out Feinstein’s house while he and Clinton were sequestered for an hour – where’s their outrage that a staffer merely updated a public record ??

    It’s understandable that NBC was interested in contacting the family etc…. but that argument and the related firing are tantamount to suggesting that Habeas Corpus should be suspended in order to preserve freedom. A Carlin-esque topic if ever there was… (RIP)

Comments are closed.