After two bombs exploded at today's Boston Marathon -- with a third reportedly detonating at JFK Library minutes ago -- Houston's local media scene has attempted to gather the facts of the fast-breaking story. However, instead of doing the traditional legwork that, you know, delineates the media's responsibilities and activities, a handful of local news outlets have outsourced their work to the readership that is attempting to turn to them for a fuller perspective on the story. Over a half-dozen outlets across the state have decided that now was the right time to turn over their reportage to their readers and viewers, instead of, or at least in addition to, attempting to flesh out something carrying the dimensions of a terrorist attack.
It's one thing to crowd-source, guys. It's one thing to ask what your audience's "worst pet peeves!" or "favorite kind of ice cream!" or "all-time best Astrodome memories!" are. There's a time and place for all of that. But this -- with the dead, and the wounded, and the blood and viscera and video still abounding on each and every channel and feed across the nation -- this isn't the time. This is the time to do some damn work on your own.
Here are the more egregious examples across the state, with the lion's share coming from within Houston:
— Houston News (@abc13houston) April 15, 2013
Do you know anyone at the #BostonMarathon? We'd like to talk to you. Email: email@example.com or call 713.778.4950.
— KPRC Local 2 Houston (@KPRCLocal2) April 15, 2013
Anyone from Houston at Boston Marathon? Know someone there, have you heard from them; are they safe? Tweet @houstonchron w/details, please.
— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) April 15, 2013
— KGBT Action 4 News (@kgbt) April 15, 2013
Know someone running the #BostonMarathon today from Austin/Central Texas? If so, please send contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— keyetv (@keyetv) April 15, 2013
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
If anyone from our area may be in the Boston area for the marathon, email us at email@example.com or call us in the newsroom at 432-567-9991.
— newswest9 (@newswest9) April 15, 2013
Know someone from North Texas running in today's Boston Marathon? Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) April 15, 2013