Sheriff Asked Journalists To Stop Tweeting During Dorner’s Final Hours

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The case of California manhunt subject Christopher Dorner has prompted social media issues. Before his apparent demise in a shootout, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office asked journalists to stop tweeting in the event Dorner was monitoring Twitter, says Poynter.org. Police made the same request of TV viewers. (Candy Martin, who was surprised to see her rental cabin on television, told police it had “no cable, telephone, or Internet service, said the Los Angeles Times.

KPCC didn't comply with the request. “It's not unusual, particularly in a police standoff, for police to ask television in particular to be very careful in their live coverage,” said Poynter's Al Tompkins. “But this idea of Twitter coverage is a new wrinkle.” Tompkins cited an incident in Pittsburgh last year where a hostage-taker interacted with friends on Facebook during a standoff. “It's an inevitable problem that police must be very concerned about,” Tompkins said. “It's not unreasonable for police to ask for moderation, but they ought to explain their request. And if media decide to moderate their coverage, they have a responsibility to explain why.” CBS News correspondent Carter Evans wandered into the area of engagement and dropped to the ground, holding the phone line open so viewers could hear gunfire, reported TVSpy.

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