Using Storify for the IRS, FBI lockdown at Pilot

The day changed once the alert went out: The FBI has entered and shut down the Pilot/Flying J headquarters.

Our talented and capable business staff was working the story, but on something such as that I expect to be pulled from whatever I’m working on and be put on some other element of the story. In this case, it was culling comments from Twitter, Facebook, blogs and elsewhere on the story.

Many people had something to say, but scant information was available locally. And beyond that – learning later that agents had ordered employees to shut down their phones and computers – it was speculation (Photos are images, links go back to Storify page).

But stories have to begin somewhere.

Pilot 3Initially, we knew that we wanted to use Storify to compile the comments. And at first there was a lot of commenting on the shock of the situation. Granted, verified information would be hard to find, so we went with the best of what was around. A lot of people had questions. So that’s where we started.

For the next three hours, it was a matter of repeated searches on Twitter and Facebook. When there was a lull, I found articles from Forbes, links about Pilot in general, and posted what other news outlets had said.

Pilot 2


Seeing more comments from news outlets in Cleveland, I pulled more of those into the mix. Then, as people were arriving home to hear the evening news, I grabbed those comments from people – even one who said he was an employee.

It was a matter of search, repeat, post.

It wasn’t offered as news, but a compilation of the social network commentary regarding Pilot. As this investigation and story continues, there are sure to be more details on what happened, why it happened and who it affects.

In the meantime, if you want to comment or speak to someone here, we are available.


About Gerald

A journalist in Knoxville, TN. Work (mostly) inside and play (mostly) outside. I'm a part of the X or the Y generation. None of us claim the other.
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