Dispatch

Texas Senator's Twitter Typo Causes Accidental Gay Marriage Endorsement

Three little letters reversed the meaning of a tweet from Texas State Senator Dan Patrick that came on the heals of a court decision striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

A federal judge on Wednesday ruled the Texas law “demeans the dignity” of same-sex couples “for no legitimate reason.”  In an extensive 48-page decision, U.S. district judge Orlando Garcia stayed his ruling pending an appeal by state officials, meaning marriage practices in the state were not likely to change immediately. READ MORE

Anonymous Blogging: Helpful or Hurtful?

The democratization of media is messy. Activists, software entrepreneurs and incumbent media players are locked in a high-stakes search for the next new thing. Innovation has been largely at the edges with novel combinations that have not always gone together, but have an appeal to them.

The secret sauce remains elusive, but there is general agreement on the recipe: Content that connects users together in online communities, often driven by a cause, if only at the neighborhood level. All these alliterative words can also produce confusion. READ MORE

When Social Media Hits Home

"Mother unwittingly live-tweets husband’s fatal crash.” With characteristic tabloid economy, the headline in the New York Post captured the tragedy and irony of a story at the confluence of a heartbreaking highway collision and the immediacy of social media.

Last year, a record 72 percent of adults who are online used social networking sites, according to the Pew Research Center. But of all the sites, from Facebook and LinkedIn to Instagram and Pinterest, it is Twitter that has done more to change how we get news and information in real time. The use of Twitter has doubled since 2010, according to Pew. In that time, the microblogging service has grown from a simple tool for posting updates—personal and professional—to a critical device for informing the public about major events. Sometimes, though, live-tweeting a news update touches someone very personally. READ MORE

Video: Christie's 2-Hour Lesson in Damage Control

Thursday should have been a very bad day for Chris Christie. His name appeared beside the word scandal in headlines across the country.  (In case the connection between creating artificial traffic problems and political retribution is not clear to you, Ryan Holeywell's story on the only-in-New-Jersey scandal can help.)

What's more, the scandal seemed to draw on plot lines from rejected episodes of The Sopranos meets The House of Cards -- political retribution from an allegedly jilted suitor and Christie himself sent over from central casting with that tough talking, sometimes bullying vibe. READ MORE

Why Do Politicians Prefer Old Media?

Going where the people are is a pretty safe bet. Public officials in state and local government are doing just that, giving priority to TV news outlets when they respond to requests for information and interviews. But today’s conventional wisdom about media relations is markedly different than it was just a few years ago, and may be shifting again as news consumers continue their migration from print and broadcast news to digital media.

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