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KNBC live-tweeting the LA riots for 20th anniversary

Ever wonder how some of the most memorable breaking news stories would play out on Twitter? The NBC-owned TV station in Los Angeles has launched the Twitter account @RealTimeLARiots to replay the Rodney King trial and the LA riots twenty years later.

“With the 20th anniversary coming up, there is a ton of coverage out there, so we were looking for a unique way to tell the story – a compelling way that people couldn’t get anywhere else,” explains Olsen Ebright, content producer for NBCLA.com. “I’ve been a big fan of real-time Twitter accounts, such as WW2 (@RealTimeWWII) and the Titanic (@TitanicRealTime), so we took our inspiration from them.”

Ebright says the Twitter account not only links NBCLA.com stories, but other news sites, as well — and you may notice, the NBC branding is on the account is kept to a minimum. Ebright says they’ll tweet archive photos and video, too. “For us, Twitter has been a great medium for breaking news, and this was one of the biggest breaking news stories of the last century, so it seemed appropriate,” he said.

The account is currently focused on the Rodney King trial — the verdict was read on April 29th at 3:15 p.m., which is this upcoming Sunday. The riots then raged for several days, so what happens with the Twitter account when the story’s over? “The account is indeed temporary,” Ebright explains. “We’ll continue to tweet past the actual riots with relevant updates, but I think the momentum will naturally wind down. As of now, there is no set end date. I think that will happen organically.”

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