Media Missteps in Connecticut Shooting Coverage

Meanwhile, Kmart displays poor Twitter judgment with promotional hashtag

Headshot of Emma Bazilian

With a national tragedy on the scale of today's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., the public has come to expect a constant flow of information about the who, what and why of the day’s events. Unfortunately, the frantic pace often comes at the expense of fact checking. From the shooter’s identity to the number of deaths, misinformation about today's events spread like wildfire from the social Web to leading media outlets.

It wasn't just the media that was mistake-prone as the Connecticut tragedy unfolded. Kmart's social media team also slipped. Around 2 p.m. today, the company tweeted out its condolences to the shooting victims: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrible tragedy.” The tweet included three hashtags: two related to the shooting—#PrayforNewtown and #CTShooting—and the company's holiday toy Twitter hashtag, #Fab15Toys.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.