Breaking news blogs (again)

Alfred Hermida, ex BBC, now Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia’s school of journalism, makes an interesting suggestion: using the new WordPress Twitter-style ‘Prologue’ theme as a breaking news site, ‘with reporters adding the latest details as they come in’.
I actually suggested something identical to this, back in July: ‘A ‘breaking news blog’, in my book, should look and feel more like Twitter. Activate it when a huge story breaks – maybe only a couple of times a year, maybe a couple of times a month. Short snaps of maybe only a couple of lines, written in an informal tone.’ Wish I’d followed it through, now.
If I were running a news operation right now, I’d have a WordPress installation quietly stashed somewhere offsite, ready to go. It’s so many advantages: emergency capacity in the event of a site meltdown, instant activation (by the newsroom, not the IT team) when required, and a more natural ‘breaking news’ style. When you get another 9/11, it could be as simple as switching the DNS for your main site.
By the way… did I really hear a BBC interviewer utter the words ‘people look at the World Trade Center very differently after 9/11’ the other day? Yes: they used to look up, now they don’t. That’s pretty different.

One thought on “Breaking news blogs (again)”

  1. WordPress was just a blogging platform. Then it was a great lightweight CMS. Now it’s a platform, through innovative use of themes and plugins. It doesn’t just make great blogs, or great sites, but great services too.
    Is there nothing it can’t do?!

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