When Tiger Updates Cry Wolf

In the aftermath of TigerGate—or HydrantGate or SpurnedSwedeGate or DriverGate or whatever we’re calling it—many in the media have been wondering how much, and what kind of, coverage to give to the story. (If you have thoughts on this issue, by the way, click on over to our News Meeting section and give us your ideas.) Perhaps, we say, covering the story cedes too much to the raging appetites of the new media cycle. Or perhaps it enforces uncomfortable compromises on the part of traditional media. Or perhaps

Well, regardless, I think there’s one way we can agree is just a tad excessive when it comes to updating the public about developments in the Tiger story: sending every minor development in the story out to readers, via histrionic “Breaking News!” alerts. Per one such email sent by The Washington Post this afternoon:

News Alert
03:07 PM EST Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Police: Tiger Woods at fault in crash, faces fine

The Florida Highway Patrol has determined the golfer is at fault in crash and will issue citation for careless driving.

For more information, visit washingtonpost.com - http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/E5QODK/UJ0VB/9ZL4G6/6XDITU/HSRJC/N9/t

News alert: The Washington Post annoys a reader yet again.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.