Joe Paterno’s Death Creates Web Frenzy Among Fans and Journalists

  • Guest post by Daniel D’Alonzo

    Penn State and the rest of the world mourn the loss of long time Penn State coach, Joe Paterno, who passed away early Sunday from lung cancer.

    The tornado of tweets rumoring his death began with Onward State, a popular Penn State student run internet media outlet. Onward State tweeted at 8:45pm announcing the death of Paterno. CBS Sports picked up the unconfirmed report and it spread from there. Quickly the Paterno family got wind of the misinformation. Scott Paterno, the son of Joe Paterno, tweeted that CBS was in fact wrong. CBS Sports retracted their statement as did Onward State whose managing editor has since stepped down.

    It wasn’t until Sunday January 22, 2011 was Joe Paterno’s death confirmed.

    Within the last 24 hours we’ve seen over 170,000 mentions of Paterno on Twitter with updates ranging from diehard fans producing montages to Penn State football players posting memories and appreciation for how the coach impacted their lives.

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Paterno family.