Last fall, Mac McClelland was in Haiti reporting for Mother Jones on the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. She caused a tempest in a tweetpot after live tweeting a day spent with a young woman seeking medical care after being gang raped in a camp. It was, as you would imagine, a horrific story. Reading it as it happened, in 140 character installments, was a bit like what I imagine getting kicked in the stomach repeatedly feels like. 140 characters doesn’t allow room for context, or room to breathe.
McClelland got a lot of criticism for telling the story the way she did. She was accused of a lack of journalistic integrity, rudeness, sensationalism, taking advantage of her subject and a lot else besides. If you trust a good journalist to be one across multiple media, much of it didn’t have much merit, though I’m not aiming to write a defense of the morality of the endeavor.
But I thought it was kind of great.