Adrian Dater, the Avs beat writer for the Denver Post, has deleted his Twitter account. In his blog post titled “So long Twitter“, Dater attributes his departure mostly to the controversy surrounding his tweet about the alleged shouting match involving Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf and another member of the team. The information in the tweet was overheard from other reporters and wasn’t confirmed.
Dater used his Twitter account for a variety of things, including linking his articles, on the fly analysis of games, and small glimpses of his personal life. All of these are perfectly acceptable uses, but the casual nature of the medium seemed to cause a momentary lapse of judgment. This caused some criticism to come down on Dater, but this isn’t the first time the @adater account had been the focus of negative feedback. After a Versus column by Dater suggested the Nashville Predators should give up, the Preds Twitter community rained down on Dater with some pretty serious fury. How is this situation any different?
The only difference this time around is that nobody disagreed with Dater’s opinion, they called out a major journalistic faux pas. Why not use this as a learning experience instead of an excuse to cut and run? We’ve heard so many people in the “old media” camp say that blogging and other forms of “new media” breed journalistic irresponsibility. What are we supposed to think when it’s a journalist that’s committing those very sins? Everyone is capable of misusing these new forms of media, but that’s no reason to shun them.
UPDATE – @adater is back on Twitter after 3 days of hating it.