Friday, 26 June 2009

Did you know Michael Jackson is dead?

Two hours ago the world was told by Twitter that Michael Jackson had died. Informed by the re-tweeting of a report from one LA based website. I guess many people reacted by going straight to the BBC or CNN to see if it was true. I did. And those sources were more much more circumspect (although Sky News was not) 'MJ in a coma'. 'MJ reported to have died'. This is what reliable news sources are for.

Isn't this why in a world of billions of messages the trusted news brand becomes ever more important, not less?

If a brand is a promise, the great news titles of the future have a most extraordinary opportunity. Gather and verify. Then comment.

And, yes, Jackson was a great artist.

additional: guardiannews
Web grinds to a halt after Michael Jackson dies

additional: with the loss of Farrah Fawcett Majors earlier in the day, rumour began of the death of Jeff Goldblum in a movie accident. An attempt to build a loss of youth meme methinks. But stubborn Jeff is OK, below:

additional: the point on verification: from Kevin Spacey's verified twitter account at 0014 GMT,
*Jeff Goldblum is alive and well. I just spoke to his manager. Stop these stupid rumors.*
(this completely negates my point as the definitive facts came from a individual source using microblogging and cutting out any middleman except Twitter!)

additional: the death of one of the first truly global performers, an icon known by all humanity, will have communication outcomes that are yet unforeseen. So I won't try to see them.

Friday lunch GMT: Video from Charles Arthur at the Guardian and on YouTube, but worth reading CA with it shows Twitscoop responding (do you record it all Charles?!)

Monday, 15 June 2009

News Less Perishable - read all about it!

Read newspapers from a year ago. You already know things that their most informed writers never dreamed of. It’s time travel into their future.

A dear friend who works in the public sector claims he never reads his Guardian until it’s four weeks old. He’s a Sunderland supporter. I must tell him they are still in the Premiership. The news about Newcastle and Middlesbrough will interest him too.

A few weeks back this dear friend, (who couldn’t know there might be those tiny green shoots), asked how business was going. After all people wouldn’t have the same spending power to buy into shindigs. Shindigs!

It was explained - probably pompously, that many events were remarkably recession proof. That they were core business in a big global industry. They were what made the profits. Imagine Sunderland not bothering to play football. There is season for footy and for other events. It’s a long cycle planned a long way ahead. Life really is going on.

But there are nevertheless far fewer news stories than one might expect about recovery. I know there’s a mountain of debt ahead. But right now for quite a lot of people it all looks a lot like life before Armageddon. Read those recent papers and speculate on how we mostly dodged the bullet – so far.

And as news goes online it should become easier, not tougher to see past and present together. The archive is always available. Read it at random. Read last year, and the year before – and wonder. Gosh, I knew so little back then.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

New Politics - New Media

The next live event Business & Politics Show, supported by redbrand, is at City Rooms, Leicester, June 30th. Iain will be on the panel along with John Willman of the FT and others TBA.

The reporting of this week's local and European elections will be 'rough and ready' according to Iain Dale speaking of his citizen-powered on-line radio effort.

Iain has been canvassing for volunteers to report from counts around the UK, whilst blogs do the marketing. To quote:

'We're not going to try to repeat the kind of election programme the mainstream broadcasters do - it will be very much live and loose, and totally reliant on citizen journalism and bloggers to make it work.'

So tune out of the mainstream and drop in. The medium, and the way is the message is owned and distributed, may be as big a change as anything else that's happening in politics today. This is blogging goes verbal.

Are you ready for 'rough and ready'? And for the archive it looked like this. (Blogger asks if is should aligned left, centre or right!!)