Usual story. Focus group, college kid asked how he consumes news and all the rest. Then he says: If the news is that important, it will find me.
It’s a phrase that’s used again and again to frighten some people and inspire others. It’s used in every JESUSCHRISTDOSOMETHING style presentation on new media. Still, there’s a growing number of people (young and old) that don’t buy papers, don’t watch the Angelus and the news after it. They find out through other sources about news, entertainment, content, recommendations, truth, lies etc. News before came from news filters like the Irish Times and Radio 1, now they come from text messages (remember Roy Keane and Saipan?), Facebook, Twitter (Michael Jackson dies, the Luas crash), Boards.ie (Leaving Cert English Paper 2) and the list goes on.
On Saturday morning I found out the Lisbon result through Echofon which is a Twitter client on my iPhone. As results came in from different count centres, the news came via people I’m subscribed to on Twitter. I don’t subscribe to news outlets on Twitter. People at count centres. People connected to people at count centres. I then watched Enda Kenny, Gerry Adams and all the rest give speeches at the gates of Dublin Castle not via TV or Radio but via the iPhone of Alexia Golez who used the QIK video recording and streaming application to broadcast out to the world.
This is not the future of news but it is a future. Alexia was also there when Seán Haughey experienced that silent protest. With newspapers and radio stations (bye bye INN) slashing costs and staff, then the general people on the street can be there when news happens and deliver it to their network without a news infrastructure. Unwashed ruffians that they are. If your network is relied on for even more news and trusted recommendations, what happens to PR, to broadcast news, to advertising and marketing?
This was definitely my first news event without ever going to a radio or reading a news website. Very much not the last.