On April 12, 2010, it was announced The Seattle Times was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for coverage of the tragic slayings of four Lakewood, Wash., police officers on November 29, 2009. Following excerpt describes some of the social-tool uses which were a critical part of the online breaking news coverage of this traumatic community event:
Seattletimes.com decided at the height of the story to engage with local citizenry and others through a social media experiment. Google Wave, described by Google as, “an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration,” became a live document that allowed folks on the web interested in the story to take part in helping move it forward. It was social media, reporting and online journalism at the next level. At least, a crack at it.
Some elements of the wave included links to police scanner audio, live video, information about road closures, school lockdowns, suspect information and more. A manhunt map was created inside the wave and updated by participants. And a map was linked inside the wave that seattletimes.com then used on the site. It was useful to producers updating the site because they could put information out and get tips back, instantly. We then could pass the tips on to the Metro desk and follow along that way. It was like using Twitter with a real-time response and rich content.