The Mercury's social media efforts overnight during Boston manhunt

What follows is The Pottstown Mercury's efforts to provide readers with up-to-date updates on the manhunt in Boston which began Thursday, April 18, 2013 and ended Friday, April 19, 2013. Reporter Frank Otto and Assistant Sports Editor Steve Moore worked in tandem.


  1. Otto finishes his shift covering a school board meeting and writing a story late.
  2. He arrived home around 12:30 p.m. and began looking into reports of an MIT police officer who was shot.
  3. Moore was at a Phillies game Thursday night with his young son.
  4. The last Tweet from @MercuryX before the updates on the manhunt began.
  5. Around 2 a.m. Otto and Moore corresponded and realized they were both following the same story from home.
  6. They came up with a plan for updates. Moore would continually update a running Associated Press story on while Otto ran the @MercuryX account. Both would update Facebook as necessary.
  7. Moore and Otto decided to use only sources they trusted to begin with, the AP and Boston Globe, then expand as the situation became clearer.
  8. The Boston Globe was the first news source to link the events at MIT and in Watertown to the Boston Marathon bombing. Following the lead of some other agencies, Otto presented the Globe's website with it's headline announcing the link.
  9. Throughout the event, Otto, like thousands of others, monitored an online Boston police scanner feed, along with the Boston PD's official Twitter account.
  10. Moore continued to monitor the wire.