Posts tagged breaking news

We must choose completeness over succinctness when tweeting breaking news, especially if it’s complex breaking news that’s easily misunderstood.

Sam Kirkland, New Orgs Could Have Done a Better Job Tweeting Shutdown NewsPoynter.

Yes, yes and yes. Kirkland points to tweets from large media organizations (USA Today, The AP  and The Wall Street Journal) on September 27, which state that the Senate “passed” a bill to avert the government shutdown. He writes: 

Every editor should know how a bill becomes a law — but no editor should assume every reader does. That’s why some of the breaking news tweets before and during the government shutdown were incomplete and potentially misleading.

He points to large media organizations because the reach of their tweets is enormous.

The real story that day — and every day since, until Wednesday — was what House Republicans would agree to. Democrats in the Senate passing a budget bill meant little if it was dead on arrival in the GOP-led House, as the New York Times’ fantastic ongoing back-and-forth graphic showed throughout the shutdown.

So, the all-caps #BREAKING treatment perhaps made the Senate’s move seem more consequential than it really was, especially with wording that could be misconstrued as indicating the Senate’s vote actually meant the shutdown threat was over. Those three tweets weren’t factually wrong, but responses to them indicated at least some confusion from readers.

FJP: It’s an important point. Read the whole article here. Also, related is a piece we wrote a few months ago on how to following breaking news, particularly on Twitter.

Twitter Vs. Mainstream Media: Science Proves Which Breaks News Faster

In a study on Twitter’s breaking news coverage, scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow tracked 51 million tweets in 2011 and compared them to output from traditional news outlets (including the BBC, Reuters, CNN and the New York Times). 

The study found that neither Twitter nor the news outlets were quicker than the other in breaking high-profile news. But for sport and disaster-related events, Twitter generated the news faster. 

Fast Company provides more stats in the study’s findings:

This table measures the Twitter vs. Newswire lead time on news stories between late June of 2011 and mid-September of that year (the faster newsbreaker is in bold):

While newswires had the majority of scoops, Twitter still broke the news on the England riot mortalities by as much as an hour ahead of the wire. Meanwhile, 95% of newswire stories also made their way onto the microblogging platform.

Miles Osborne, lead author of the study, says that the exchange between Twitter and newswire lead times could mean that the reporting cycle’s due diligence shrinks over time—and anecdotally, we see that it already has in some cases. Still, Osborne’s data showed that the newswire is still the main force in information sharing, and he doesn’t anticipate that changing.

“My prediction is that … news services will simply use Twitter as another dissemination vector,” Osborne told Co.Exist in an email. “In my opinion the broad findings will continue. For example, news of some border treaty will never surface first on Twitter. Likewise, someone being robbed in downtown Boston might well appear first on Twitter.

FJP: Osborne’s thoughts mirror recent comments made by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo at the annual convention of the American Society of News Editors (via USA TODAY):

We think of Twitter as a technology company in the media business…We don’t do journalism. We don’t report tweets that come in. We’re very complementary to news organizations.

There’s no denying that Twitter can be useful in breaking news. It isn’t always the best venue for accurate information, as media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing had shown us. So here are some tips and tools on best practices for Twitter best practices and how to verify a tweet.—Kat

Bonus: Advice on how to build a newsy Twitter list and follow breaking news from the FJP archives.

How We Follow Breaking News
A lot is happening in Boston, just like a lot has happened in past months, including a lot of hype on the news, a lot of confusion, and the spread of quite some misinformation.
But eventually, the chase ends, the investigations close, the who, what, where, when, and how get answered, and the why gets speculated over until everyone agrees on a narrative that can help us digest the horror. The journey involves a lot of hype, and lot of (digital and analog) talk around the coffee-machine, Facebook feeds and Twitter channels. Some people end up very hurt, some people cynical, some people apathetic, some people clueless, some people motivated to help however they can.
So what can we take away from events like today in Boston? We can think about how we read about it. And in the era of everyone having a voice and a blog and the power to create content, it might help to think a little bit like a journalist.
Breaking news creates an information fog. Mistakes are made as rumors are spread. Important though is to think about how we follow and consume news, and if we’re journalists ourselves, how we report — and when we report — the latest factoid that comes across our radar. As GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram writes, Twitter shows how the news is made, and it’s not pretty — but it’s better that we see it.
Here’s our two-step process for following breaking news, keeping the drama to a minimum, and finding voices who know what they are talking about:
1. Pick a place to get a regularly updated version of the big picture.
If you don’t have cable or choose to stay online instead of on TV, you can watch CNN’s livestream here. Or, if you’re not at your computer and not in front of a TV but still want to listen in there are apps for that. For example, TuneIn Radio is available for the iPhone and iPad and gives you access to local, regional and global radio stations and broadcast network feeds. But keep in mind that they too get their stuff wrong sometimes, and if you’re watching TV (or reading the NY Post) you’re in for a lot of drama.
Examples of places to keep track of the big picture:
The New York Times Lede Blog
The Atlantic Wire
The Reuters live feed
2. Get on Twitter for primary sources to supplement that big picture and ask your own questions about it.
It’s the place where news breaks these days and holds a ton of value in the discovery-of-information ecosystem. It’s my first stop, nearly always. But it’s also a space for misinformation to spread incredibly fast so knowing how to use it (and not abuse it) falls into the hands of us—the people on it. Think (like a journalist would) about who’s gonna have the (mostly like correct) valuable information on the situation. This morning we were following people like Reuters’ Anthony De Rosa, The Wall Street Journal’s Liz Heron and the Huffington Post’s Craig Kanalley. Even closer to the action, here’s a public list on Watertown put together by Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan.
But think: Who’s actually there? Follow news organizations for regular updates. Follow them on Twitter or Facebook too. You’ll get linked out to further resources as the events unfold without having to keep up with just one paper’s website up all day.
Google the local publications, namely The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald. Who are the reporters on the story? Who’s the editor? Follow them on Twitter. Follow the police commissioner, the mayor.
Also, did you know you can listen to the police scanner itself? Here’s an app for that. Remember though, if listening to the police scanner you’re listening to people who are trying to figure things out as well. This is information fog. What is said on the scanner is not necessarily fact. It’s first responders trying to understand the situation they’re in. Also remember that there are ethical considerations when listening to a scanner. Just because you hear someone say something doesn’t mean that you should post it to your social network of choice. There are lives on the line in situations like this.
Finally, with so many rumors and posts swirling about, remember that much information will be wrong and a significant part of the entire process is to verify what we hear. To that end, remember that in times like these, some trolls create fake social media accounts. If you really wanna get good at Twitter, Josh Stearns has a a guide on how to verify social media content. — Jihii
Related, Part 01: Thoughts on slow news from the FJP archives.
Related, Part 02: Getting it Wrong in Boston.
Image: Screenshot, Twitter post by NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

How We Follow Breaking News

A lot is happening in Boston, just like a lot has happened in past months, including a lot of hype on the news, a lot of confusion, and the spread of quite some misinformation.

But eventually, the chase ends, the investigations close, the who, what, where, when, and how get answered, and the why gets speculated over until everyone agrees on a narrative that can help us digest the horror. The journey involves a lot of hype, and lot of (digital and analog) talk around the coffee-machine, Facebook feeds and Twitter channels. Some people end up very hurt, some people cynical, some people apathetic, some people clueless, some people motivated to help however they can.

So what can we take away from events like today in Boston? We can think about how we read about it. And in the era of everyone having a voice and a blog and the power to create content, it might help to think a little bit like a journalist.

Breaking news creates an information fog. Mistakes are made as rumors are spread. Important though is to think about how we follow and consume news, and if we’re journalists ourselves, how we report — and when we report — the latest factoid that comes across our radar. As GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram writes, Twitter shows how the news is made, and it’s not pretty — but it’s better that we see it.

Here’s our two-step process for following breaking news, keeping the drama to a minimum, and finding voices who know what they are talking about:

1. Pick a place to get a regularly updated version of the big picture.

If you don’t have cable or choose to stay online instead of on TV, you can watch CNN’s livestream here. Or, if you’re not at your computer and not in front of a TV but still want to listen in there are apps for that. For example, TuneIn Radio is available for the iPhone and iPad and gives you access to local, regional and global radio stations and broadcast network feeds. But keep in mind that they too get their stuff wrong sometimes, and if you’re watching TV (or reading the NY Post) you’re in for a lot of drama.

Examples of places to keep track of the big picture:

2. Get on Twitter for primary sources to supplement that big picture and ask your own questions about it.

It’s the place where news breaks these days and holds a ton of value in the discovery-of-information ecosystem. It’s my first stop, nearly always. But it’s also a space for misinformation to spread incredibly fast so knowing how to use it (and not abuse it) falls into the hands of us—the people on it. Think (like a journalist would) about who’s gonna have the (mostly like correct) valuable information on the situation. This morning we were following people like Reuters’ Anthony De Rosa, The Wall Street Journal’s Liz Heron and the Huffington Post’s Craig Kanalley. Even closer to the action, here’s a public list on Watertown put together by Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan.

But think: Who’s actually there? Follow news organizations for regular updates. Follow them on Twitter or Facebook too. You’ll get linked out to further resources as the events unfold without having to keep up with just one paper’s website up all day.

Google the local publications, namely The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald. Who are the reporters on the story? Who’s the editor? Follow them on Twitter. Follow the police commissioner, the mayor.

Also, did you know you can listen to the police scanner itself? Here’s an app for that. Remember though, if listening to the police scanner you’re listening to people who are trying to figure things out as well. This is information fog. What is said on the scanner is not necessarily fact. It’s first responders trying to understand the situation they’re in. Also remember that there are ethical considerations when listening to a scanner. Just because you hear someone say something doesn’t mean that you should post it to your social network of choice. There are lives on the line in situations like this.

Finally, with so many rumors and posts swirling about, remember that much information will be wrong and a significant part of the entire process is to verify what we hear. To that end, remember that in times like these, some trolls create fake social media accountsIf you really wanna get good at Twitter, Josh Stearns has a a guide on how to verify social media content. — Jihii

Related, Part 01: Thoughts on slow news from the FJP archives.

Related, Part 02: Getting it Wrong in Boston.

Image: Screenshot, Twitter post by NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

ccindecision:

Something weird has happened to The Most Trusted Name in News.

Has something weird happened? Has the race to break news scraped the bottom of the barrel yet (of course not, there’s a long way to go).

In my inconsequential opinion, CNN has been one of the newsroom to most embrace technology and social media in recent years and as a result it is also the one suffering most from the process of pulling hard fact from rumour and hearsay as the time to do this work diminishes in the newsroom.

Infographic: How Social Media is Replacing Traditional Journalism for Breaking News
via Bill Moyers:

As of 2012, online news revenue has surpassed print news revenue, and more people are using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter for news than ever before. This infographic shows that nearly half of all Americans get their news from online sources at least three times a week. Learn more about how social media is supplanting traditional media in today’s smart chart.

H/T: Schools.com

Infographic: How Social Media is Replacing Traditional Journalism for Breaking News

via Bill Moyers:

As of 2012, online news revenue has surpassed print news revenue, and more people are using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter for news than ever before. This infographic shows that nearly half of all Americans get their news from online sources at least three times a week. Learn more about how social media is supplanting traditional media in today’s smart chart.

H/T: Schools.com

Scoop Cooper, exposing corruption wherever it may be. 
Enter Oscar as the whistleblower.
via foreveryinstanceofbeauty:
Nothing makes me happier than this right now. 

Scoop Cooper, exposing corruption wherever it may be.

Enter Oscar as the whistleblower.

via foreveryinstanceofbeauty:

Nothing makes me happier than this right now.