Twitterizing Breaking News

In a 30 minute window today (if you were watching Twitter, the AP, and most of the major news organizations in the US you saw a great case study in how communication–and the dissemination of information can be aided by Twitter–if the simple rules are followed, know your source.

At about 816 BNO Breaking News broke on Twitter that the leader of Al Qaida in Iraq was captured.  If you don’t follow BNO on Twitter–and are in the news business, or are a “news junkie” then you should.  They do a great job covering the world–and are right.  Its my opinion as a long time news person that they are getting acceptance around the world as a news organization–and are really starting to cover the news, and not just headline what others are covering (perhaps a different blog there).

Being in a good news organization-emails started to fly internal to CBS News looking for confirmation-after all the story of the capture of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the chief of Al Qaeda in Iraq is not an unfamilar report.

With confirmation from a consultant working for CBS News in Iraq-CBS News went with the story–attributed to Iraqi officials (with a pending US confirmation). This occurred at about 845–30 minutes from the first mention via Twitter that this occurred. Its now on air, on line, on mobile and on Twitter again via CBS (and others).

The take away here is that these traditional news agencies were able to reach into social media to share the news.  BNO has more than 250,000 followers. CBS News has about 150,000 followers.  CNN (via purchase) is closing in on one-million.  There is an audience on the platform who devours information.

Yeah, I know the monetization is a little awkward at best–but the reality is an audience is being served–and its being served well.  With good journalism, best practices and the dedication to craft–the consumer who leverages the Twitter platform can pick and choose their news sources–ask questions and be served.

For the brand-its mostly brand extension right now.  At some point though this becomes a true business function–after all there are not many faster ways to get information out and there are not many ways to reach our consumers with the kind of concurrency that Twitter allows.


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