In a move that was not only morbid, but called into question by a slew of critics, a Colorado newspaper reporter Twittered a three-year old’s funeral Wednesday after the child died in a car accident earlier in the week.
In what some are saying is the result of the newspaper’s undying desire to be the first to report on local news, it Twittered the live events at the funeral instead of waiting to report on it after it was over. The decision to Twitter the funeral was called into question by most in the Colorado press and elsewhere who claimed it wasn’t the right place, nor the right time to use a real-time social tool to discuss the events of the service.
“I think that reporters are often in the uncomfortable position of reporting from settings where people are in great grief,” one critic told ABCNews.com. “These situations call for the greatest understanding and discretion on the part of the reporter. To be putting real-time notes out there as opposed to waiting until the ceremony is over; there’s an element of pillaging a private moment of grief that I’m uncomfortable with.”
The reporter, Berny Morson, still has his Twitter feed active and the live events of the funeral are still included in his timeline. His coverage of the funeral begins with a description of the casket and mourners filing in and ends when “family members shovel earth into [the] grave.”
Morson and his newspaper, Rocky Mountain News, have yet to comment on the firestorm surrounding his questionable use of Twitter.