We shared the story today of 17-year-old Larie Butler. She was found dead in an Irondequoit pool on March 29.
Hundreds of people attended her funeral Friday at Aenon Baptist Church on Genesee Street.
Larie loved to dance, talk on the phone, and hang out with friends. She was a daddy's girl.
The family graciously allowed 13WHAM News to attend the service.
Our reporter and photographer sat upstairs in the balcony of the church-- away from family and friends.
We would never want to intrude during such a private and emotional time for those who loved Larie while they were grieving.
But we did want to tell you about a young girl who most of us never knew.
At a funeral - reporters normally quietly take handwritten notes about what they see and hear so they can share them with you.
During the funeral of Larie Butler, our reporter used her smart phone. Not a notepad. She shared what she saw online in real time on twitter.
Here are a a couple of tweets from our reporter:
"Church passes guest book and silk flowers to the family. Silk flowers uses because they have a longer life span than real flowers."
"Funeral home arranged a book with pictures and memories and plaques for the family to forever hold on to."
"Reps with the city and school Dist present a surprise to Larie's family."
"The city fire chief recognizes Larie with certificate for emergency response team. Larie receives honorary degree from East High School."
"One last goodbye to Larie as she heads to her final resting place."
13WHAM received tweets from people who thanked us for sharing Larie's story on twitter. And a handful of others from people who said we were insensitive and disruptive.
We would never want to upset anyone at the church- especially grieving family members and friends. We are mothers or fathers, brothers or sisters.
Talking notes on a phone is certainly no more disruptive or disrespectful than taking a reporter's notebook out of a jacket pocket and scribbling notes.
The only difference between our coverage of this funeral - and one that we would have covered 10 years ago is that the medium we are using to share information.
Instead of waiting 30 minutes to read the story online or a couple of hours to see the story on television, this information was relayed in real time.
We’ve been writing and reporting about death for years - in many different ways. In newspapers. On the radio. On TV. Live blogging or tweeting just feels like another version of all that. Times are changing.
Our reporter shared a story today. It just happened to be 140 characters at a time.
Allison Watts, Director of Digital Media