We’ve had a few blog posts lately about how the nature of our jobs have changed. The shooting death of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday exemplified that change more than anything.
The only aspect of our coverage that resembled how we’ve covered news in the past was our response. We quickly had three members of our photo staff at Reformation Lutheran Church. Fernando Salazar walked the perimeter taking still photos. Jaime Oppenheimer shot video and stills across the street from the church’s entrance. Mike Hutmacher shot both at Tiller’s clinic. I backed Jaime up, shot video of a police briefing and spent most of the day under a tree sending all of that information back to the newsroom and directly to Kansas.com.
Perhaps the biggest difference though, was how we used social media to inform the public about what was happening at the scene.
The Wichita Eagle’s Ron Sylvester has pioneered the use of Twitter as a reporting tool, using it to send live “tweets” from trials that he’s covered. Over the course of the day on Sunday, people who use twitter were able to get up-to-the-minute information from the scene by following our account, @EaglePhotos. Here are a few examples:
@EaglePhotos: Police looking for a 90’s era light blue Ford Taurus with Kansas tags. Registered in Merriam, Ks.
@EaglePhotos: 225-BAB is the tag on the vehicle police are looking for. Kansas tags.
@EaglePhotos: http://twitpic.com/6cqug - Friend of Dr. George Tiller places flowers outside of Reformation Lutheran Church. #tiller
If you want to see all of our updates from yesterday on twitter, check it out here.