as it happens.. the new journalism

There was a useful example of what I would call the new journalism yesterday coming from of all places the Church of England synod. Firstly the journalists in the press gallery were using twitter to comment on what was happening. And reading and commenting on each other's tweets – something which I would expect most of those at synod to be entirely oblivious to expecting to read about the event on blogs that evening or in the papers the following morning. Of course what is interesting about journalists tweeting and retweeting each other is that what is effectively happening is a kind of consensual defining of different editorial stances – they don't hvae to second guess each other – without discussion they can see where the other journalists are headed.

Andrew Brown wrote a blog posted on the Guardian site straight away musing on why the meeting (which was still in progress was so dulll when the individuals weren't dull) This kind of reflection I associate with more distant reviews when the dust is settling not when the dust is in the air.

Then Ruth Gledhill blogged about the Methodist church president's offer for the Methodists to self destruct by merging with the Anglican church. For whatever reason the bitly shortening of the URL didn't work. So she was asked to repost the blog link. Rather than repost she opted to resend the full URL to the 3 twitter followers who asked for a resend. Ruth has over 3000 followers so call that a .1% response – an indication of the prpoportion of your twitter audience who may at any time be actively following. Allowing them to retweet and to comment themselves.

So just to summarise – here are journalists who before they submit articles to their respective publications, are able to see what each other are up to, are able to test the water by blogging first, and are able to have 1 to 1 communication with some of those following them.

Interesting to watch because I suspect that the apparatus for generating the press releases in the first place is nothing like so subtle and responsive.And this becomes a problem. Becuase those witnessing an event firsthand can shape and deconstruct it faster than the image makers can construct it. It takes me less than 10 minutes to put out a blog. I am working at reducing the time taken to video blog to within half an hour.  How should organisations ramp up their output to be able to engage as quickly?

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