Do you get your news by appointment, or do you get your news whenever you want it?
It’s one of the big questions behind the rise of social media as a news source as well as in the transformation of journalism from pull to push.
Yesterday I encountered a useful real-world example.
In a meeting at work I mentioned I would follow-up on a task Wednesday, and I was met with a collective giggle. Didn’t I know there was another big snow storm coming Tuesday night? It made for a perfect opportunity to lament my not owning a tv and abstaining from local newscasts. Silly me, for eschewing appointment news!
Except, is that why I didn’t know about the storm?
Not really. I went to bed early the night before, and hadn’t checked my Twitter or RSS feeds when I awoke. My phone’s weather widget wasn’t on. Sure enough, when I returned to my desk and checked, all were abuzz.
The news was delivered to me as soon as I engaged my social networks – off-axis from the typical news appointment of 11pm or 6am. Why would I make an appointment to watch television or read a newspaper when I could get the news when it was convenient for me?
In this instance I looked behind. But, did my co-workers know that Representative Murtha had just passed away? That appeared on my feed midday – but they would wait to make a news appointment to hear about it.
Similarly, I’ve heard about hyper-local news midday – like construction accidents on the next block – when co-workers would have had to search the bowels of a network site for the story. Or, wait for their nightly news appointment.
Maybe it’s funny to hear this from a journalism major, but I reject appointment news – local newscasts with watered-down reporting and over-hyped weather are dead to me. I even reject having to visit a news website to look for relevant stories. I’ve stopped making time in my life for that.
If news is relevant to me it will get filtered to me when it’s relevant.
What about you? Do you consume local news differently than you used to? If there was major breaking news affecting your zip code, where would you hear it first?