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March 18 2010

16:15

Journalist scoops press and police with simple Google search

Danish police had been searching for Rumenian murder suspect Marian Clita for a good 24 hours when Norwegian journalist Andreas Lunde Googled him, found his phone number and got him on the line.

In a scoop that almost beggars belief, ABC Nyheter’s Andreas Lunde, tracked down the man wanted for the brutal murder of Norwegian Scandinavian Airline stewardess Vera Vildmyren in Copehnhagen, a man sought by both the police and the press, with a simple Google Search.

“I found a blog post he had commented on, using his name and phone number when doing so, put the Rumenian land code in front of the number and called,” Lunde told Danish TV2 News.

Clita picked up the phone, confirmed he was indeed Marian Clita, professed to be unaware the police was searching for him, but, when asked if he had any knowledge of the murder, said he would get a taxi to the police station in ten minutes – and kept his word.

Later, ABC Nyheter called him again, and Clita said he had reported himself to the police and was waiting for them to find an interpreter. The police said Clita had told them: “I have killed a woman I Copenhagen” and thanked Lunde for tracking him down.

Lunde wasn’t actually on the Clita-case, but, as he told a former colleague, “I wasn’t on that particular case, but I’m a journalist and I’m curious, and when I get hold of his number it becomes my case.”

A video-journalist, Lunde has on many other occasions proved how willingness to experiment with new and old technology and storytelling techniques can be used to enhance journalism. In this case, two fairly dated tools, Google and a telephone, were the keys to the story.

For the record: I’m a media columnist with ABC Nyheter and as the president of The Norwegian Online News Association (NONA). I have a keen interest in promoting and sharing good online practices.

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