Media use of Virginia Tech website

I was catching up on newspapers and saw the NYTimes had Graphics Director Steve Duenes answering questions in its “Talk to the Newsroom” section last week. As he answered a question on “Getting the Details Right” he included an example of reporting on the Virginia Tech tragedy:

As the story was breaking, Amanda Cox, our statistics maven, did a quick computer “scrape” of the Virginia Tech Web site for faculty and student telephone numbers. Then she wrote another script to narrow the list of numbers, so we could try calling people who had classes in the building.

Not sure what my thoughts are about this.

  • It’s not surprising.
  • I have done that kind of phishing.
  • Media Office overwhelmed + Media seeking info = creative solutions not involving the Media Office.
  • Would we want to provide our own diagram in response? Should we have diagrams on hand—include 3D diagrams as part of an outsourced campus map project?
  • Yes, all that information from the Schedule of Classes and the online employee directory.
  • Would the idea of adding a list of what a professor is currently teach on their bio be a good thing? How much information should be included (building, room, times, or just class title and section number?)

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