The #Dorner #LAPD Story is Tragic, Scary, Terrifying, and Oh-So-Meta

I’m back. Yes, it’s been awhile. The holidays. New Years in New Orleans. Lotsa work post-acquisition. Blah, blah, blah. No excuses, back to blogging.

Anyway, this Dorner story is fascinating. it’s tragic, scary, and terrifying, but it’s also a fascinating example of how news propagates through our new media network of Twitter, blogs, and traditional outlets like CNN. I’m curating all of the activity online with a Storify that I’ll be updating regularly and attempting to provide a balanced perspective.

But… what’s even more interesting is observing how information flows across the new media landscape. Here’s how I experienced the story today:

  1. Heard on NPR that there was a manhunt for a former LAPD officer who had killed another police officer and a civilian
  2. Saw an update on Flipboard, a story on the LA Times website, updating that more police officers had been shot and that the manhunt was intensifying
  3. Became curious and began searching on Twitter. I saw that #LAPD was trending and began following the tweets. I discovered that the former officer’s name was Dorner and that he had released a manifesto
  4. Saw on Twitter that Anonymous had leaked the full and unedited version of the manifesto
  5. Read the manifesto on our drive up to Mammoth (it took awhile)
  6. Began following all the tweets for #Dorner and #LAPD and began re-tweeting and @replying anyone who seemed to have information about the story
  7. Saw that the LAPD had shot a truck that looked like Dorner’s, injuring two women delivering newspapers
  8. Created a Storify and started writing this blog

What’s even more interesting is my emotional and cognitive response at each stage as the story developed and I experienced it in real-time over the course of the day:

  1. Wow, that’s horrible. Who is this nut job? Why did he kill a cop?
  2. Woah, this is getting much bigger. It sounds like he’s on a rampage. Why is he doing this? What’s going on? Are we safe?
  3. There’s a manifesto? There’s a lot more to this story…
  4. Whoah, Anonymous is involved? They took down the LAPD website with a DOS attack? This is getting real…
  5. Dorner doesn’t sound like a lunatic. He’s eloquent, but sounds depressed and in a very bad place mentally. If the information he’s presenting is true, the LAPD is in trouble.
  6. Seems like the manifesto is resonating with people. A lot of them support Dorner if what he’s saying is true, although very few people condone his actions. I definitely don’t condone his actions, but I’m very curious about whether what he’s saying about the LAPD is true.
  7. Uh-oh, that’s not good
  8. This is going to become a much bigger story

I’m going to keep updating this post. It’s 2am and I’m exhausted. I’m really interested to see how this story develops, through which sources I learn new information, and how I experience the story both emotionally and cognitively as it develops.

More to come…


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