Twitter was ablaze Friday evening, thanks to TheMediaisDying, the ten-week-old Twitter account that posts news of media closures and layoffs and is obsessively followed by many media watchers. It published an item Friday evening saying the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was “officially closing.” However, the bad news turned out not to be true for the time being, and was the unfortunate result of a bad tip that spread rapidly across the microblogging platform even as its veracity was being publicly questioned.
Back on January 9, Hearst Corp. announced it was putting the Post-Intelligencer on the block and would shut the paper down if a buyer wasn’t found within 60 days. Friday’s initial TheMediaIsDying post about the P-I, however, indicated the paper was closing ahead of schedule. FishbowlNY spoke with Post-Intelligencer managing editor David McCumber shortly after the message first appeared on Twitter, and he told us TheMediaIsDying’s original report about his paper was false “as so many rumors are on Twitter.” So, we pieced together how the inaccurate story made its way on to myriad media watchers’ screens.