The first place to report the news of the death of Tim Russert wasn’t NBC – or the New York Times… it was likely Wikipedia. Someone edited Russert’s entry at 3:01pm ET – a full 23 minutes before Drudge, NYT and the NY Post picked up the story. NBC broke into programming on the network and on MSNBC at 3:39pm ET.
As Lost Remoters have commented, it’s interesting to note where the early Wikipedia edit came from: Internet Broadcasting. Someone with the IP address 126.96.36.199 made a series of six edits – first noting his death, then systematically changing the entry’s tense. A second IB user – 188.8.131.52 also made two edits before the news broke wide.
IB runs the websites for NBC’s Local Media Division (aka the O&Os). Affiliates were not broadly informed early – our first hint came from the NYT.
The big question here might not be “who” – but “why.”