Sunday, 19 February 2012

This little tweet of mine

I was getting ready for bed on Tuesday evening when I caught part of a news report that a vicar had been found dead under suspicious circumstances in the South West. Saddened, I offered up a prayer and then my wife asked if I knew who it was because the vicar had recently moved from Witham which is not far from Chelmsford. I asked if she had heard the name and Kate said it was John Suddards. My sadness tuned to shock because I had known John for quite a few years and we were colleagues on a particular diocesan working group. I tweeted a brief message about the news and then went to bed. Here’s the tweet:
Shocked and saddened to learn of the death of a friend and clergy colleague John Suddards on this evening's news bbcnews.
The next day I headed off to Norwich with the family for a few days break and on the way happened to phone the parish office to check on a couple of things. It was then that I discovered the national and regional press had been trying to get hold of me because of my tweet. I didn’t respond to any of the messages as I was on holiday and I didn’t want to discuss the matter with the press anyway. Over the rest of the week I’ve followed the story as it has gained prominence in the news but felt it unwise to comment further about the matter via social media.

So why have I put up a post about this on my blog? Simply as a reminder to me and my colleagues that everything we publish is out there, can be read by anyone and we need to be alert as to who might pick up on it.

I give thanks to God for John’s life and ministry and pray for all who mourn his death; especially his family, friends and brothers and sisters in the churches where he served so faithfully.


Sam Charles Norton said...

Well said.

paul said...

Interesting. I tweeted in similar form, and likewise had contact from London Evening Standard journalist, to whom I returned a brief call (to answerphone) saying that I would not really be able to add much of any substance to a report piece, in the wider context of an unfolding investigation, and declined to be called again.

It would appear that this is in the common toolbox for investigative journalists, now!

I agree with your advice, all said.

Emma Major said...

I quite often get called from various press people and just ignore them, it always strikes me as lazy journalism and anyway surely they know I've blogged all I know. blessings to you for your sad loss.