Everyone in the world was watching the UEFA Champions League Final on May 28.
Everyone, anyway, except in Minneapolis, USA, where a tornado warning forced KMSP-TV to cut into match coverage. And anchor Tim Blotz wasn’t pleased with the viewer response:
Blotz also called the UEFA Final a “World Cup game.” Not match, “game.” No kidding. His tone was over the line for any situation.
But Blotz’s response didn’t only fail to head off viewer anger — he prompted more, including tweets from my account, and others:
But just today, apparently KMSP has offered 23 people — including me — who tweeted at their handle that day free tickets to a Minnesota Stars professional soccer match. The club indicated on their Twitter account that Fox 9 had sent them a list of handles to contact and offer two free tickets on behalf of the station.
Traditional journalism tends to have selective treatment about audience comments online. Tweets from viewers are easily ignored when commenting on or criticizing coverage, but tweets become suddenly valuable when journalists are looking for news tips or have to crowdsource a story. But social media is a conversation — and if you’re plugged in, you can’t selectively participate, meaning you need to own up when you screw up.
That’s why I thought Fox 9’s gesture was remarkable. And I also thought it was worth giving KMSP a follow on Twitter. How’s that for online community-building?