One of the most dreaded assignments in journalism has always been the death knock: the job of knocking on the door of someone affected by tragedy.
In the pre-Internet era, the death knock would typically fall to someone at the local newspaper; and, perhaps, reporters from a news agency or two would also come knocking. In some cases, journalists from the nationals, broadcasters and magazines would arrive too.
It was rarely pretty. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t justified.
Now the nature of the death knock has changed. In web parlance, it has scaled. And the problem is: it doesn’t scale well. Continue reading