what i learned this week
I spent a great portion of the week tracking news for Command Post. Here is what I learned:
- FOX (the website) will often post the most alarming breaking news headlines, long before anyone else has them. Often times, the headline (and story that went with it, if any) will disappear with nary a mention of them again. FOX does not believe in erring on the side of caution. They'd rather get the sreeching, panicky news flash up and just make it disappear later if it proves wrong or false. However, I have to say that they have been first with the (real/true) breaking news most often.
- CNN (again, website) doesn't seem to care. They are so slow with breaking news it's almost embarrassing. They had the Egypt story from last night as a breaking headline, with no link, about forty minutes after I had full details at Command Post (thanks to mostly foreign news sites). CNN is definitely more interested in celebrity love children and scandalous behavior in Aruba than real news.
- What happened to Drudge? He blew it on ever breaking story this week. In the botched London attacks, he still had 200 point font headlines about the weather as his news flash a full HOUR after everyone else had the stories up. He was also slow with the initial London attacks. I suppose he's more of a sensationalist when it comes to breaking news. If it's got thousands of dead people, lots of blood, Hillary Clinton or Britney Spears, it will get the full Drudge treatment.
- Sky News will find the most absurd quotes from witnesses to events and give them the full treatment. They are good with breaking news, but fall way behind when it comes to giving details. They'll have the same headline/story up for hours, while other sites have updated several times. Often times, the Sky stories are riddled with inaccuracies, hearsay and quotes from Sky personnel, which I think are probably made up.
- My main source for finding quick, updated links and instant reports on breaking news has been, believe it or not - Fark. Not the front page, but Total Fark. I've seen news flashes on breaking events in there long before the main news sites have the stories, and the TFers themselves, spread out all over the world, have been an amazing source of information in the early stages of breaking events.
- I learned that the blogosphere is more incestuous than I originally thought. Bloggers will link to each other saying "so and so is live blogging the event, tons of information" and there will be 15 trackbacks to 15 blogs that all have the SAME EXACT LINKS to Fox, CNN, BBC and each other. It's a circle jerk of news. I don't understand why someone would write about a breaking story, then tell you to go to another website for more info, when all that site has is the same links, including a link back to the blog you just came from. If you want to read the same paragraph about a breaking story twenty times, go right ahead. If not, you can come to Command Post.
- I also learned that people care far less about 60 people dying in a terrorist attack in Egypt than a terrorist being shot in a subway in London. In fact, I learned that if it doesn't happen in the U.S. or England, it doesn't get much notice.
- I should mention that MSNBC is a good source of breaking news. They may not get the four-alarm headlines up in the same amount of time as FOX, but their follow up coverage is always complete and detailed.
And that's what I learned this week, as far as covering news goes.
As for everything else, I didn't learn anything you didn't already know.