One For Actual Journalism: Barack Obama VP Pick Fails To Arrive First Via SMS And E-mail

Did you get a text message or e-mail from the Barack Obama campaign late Friday night (on the West Coast)? I didn’t and I’m supposing a few others didn’t receive one either. Earlier this month the campaign said the vice president pick would first be announced via SMS and email. Instead the choice came to us through more traditional means, such as the LAT Top Of The Ticket blog where I first caught the news. Sure, it’s a blog, but it’s also the LA Times. The leak from a “Democratic official” up-ended whatever power SMS and email might have wrested from traditional media as a mass communication tool in politics. The Obama campaign planned to do a first for SMS and it didn’t happen. If the leak was authorized – which seems likely since cable news networks and news outlets were confirming the news directly within minutes – did the Obama campaign abandon the first-of-its-kind plan to break the news via SMS and email or did it simply fail on the backend? After all, this wouldn’t be the first problem we’ve encountered with breaking news text alerts.

Update: Well, the Obama website has finally been updated. And here’s some of the text message we received at 12:58 a.m. (PT) Saturday, almost three hours after the news first broke: “Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee.” The email from the campaign finally arrived in our inbox at 8:43 a.m. (PT) Saturday although some people received it at least six hours before then. Ironically, sent us the news in an email at 12:29 a.m. (PT) Saturday, before the campaign’s text message or email arrived.

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