How To Fix Breaking News

There’s a scene in Back to the Future III where our hero picks up a newspaper, and as he does so, the front page changes to display a breaking news story, the scene he is witnessing.

Most science fiction get the future horribly wrong, but in this case there might be a germ of truth to it.

Newspapers are terribly excited by ebook formats. Imagine a ‘paper’ with a twitter feed in one column, linking to breaking news stories. Imagine not only words and pictures, but video, often live, from press conferences or parliamentary debates.

I got a glimpse of that immediacy last weekend, keeping up with results from around the country through twitter, while at the same time blogging the Kildare results (though only after I’d first phoned in the results to ‘old media’; they pay the bills, after all.)

Twitter gives me data. But context matters, and newspapers give me context. I spent three days sending out data, and sent one important piece of information (during a Newtalk interview) pointing out that Catherine Murphy’s performance made her favourite to take a Dáil seat in Kildare North come the next election.

For Enews to succeed, it must provide context.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.