I remember on the day before Thanksgiving, I was in my office working on a few blog posts when I looked at my notebook and noticed the large number of tweets that were appearing discussing the attacks that were taking place in Mumbai. A couple of people sent links out on Twitter of various live video streams covering the event, including one source which was streaming live from an local India news station. Later, I watched some mainstream news coverage through the likes of CNN.
NDTV has a great story which details the use of Twitter and live blogging during the attacks on Mumbai. According to NDTV, when the initial reports began to come in via Twitter, the tweets were filled with detailed information. However, once the attack was in full swing, there was so much information to digest, you couldn’t tell which tweets were true and which were false.
The title of the article asks, is live blogging the future of media? Using the attacks on Mumbai as an example, live blogging still has a long way to go. One of the biggest problems with live blogging is that, readers ultimately have to take everything they hear on a social network with a grain of salt. In terms of mainstream media, they become relevant in the fact that they have the time, resources, and man power to ensure a greater degree of accuracy. NDTV makes a great point in that, as time went on, live bloggers ended up making the story more confusing.
To sum things up, NDTV says it better than I ever could regarding mainstream medias relevance when compared to live blogging or social networks:
So, what twitter has done is to provide instant information to millions. No one doubts the fact that it’s one of the best things to have happened to the internet. But as Cellan Jones says, that what it doesn’t do is, tell us what is true, and what isn’t. That makes the work of mainstream media outlets and professional reporters all the more relevant.
What do you think? Is mainstream media still relevant or has live blogging and the likes of Twitter replaced the mainstream media?