#Boston: how Watertown changes news media and journalism forever

Today is the day journalism as we knew it died. As incidents unfurl in Watertown, Boston, the people have shown on sites like Twitter and Reddit that they have this news story covered.

NBC news and the like are showing viewers what they could’ve learned 30 minutes ago while news sites like the NYT and even the Boston Globe look frightfully slow and cumbersome with their static front pages and lengthy articles.

While the NYT story is great in the analysis and context it provides (the stuff that we journalist say makes us worth our wages) when a story is breaking what people want fresh information and that’s what’s being delivered by the bucket load by people like  on Twitter.

So far this stream curated by Reuters has proved to be the most adept to the game – acting as a curator of content, filtering out the noise and bringing its audience tweets from informed tweeters with a bird’s eye view of the action like MIT professor Seth MnookinMnookin_Twitter_Watertown

Along with Mnookin, journalism student @taylordobbs and  “news enthusiast” @brianjdamico appear to have been the first on the scene, according to their Twitter reports.

It seems that following reports incidents that were being discussed on police scanners led them to the action well before the rest of the traditional news media.

The Boston Police Department also realized that people were turning to Twitter for information and started tweeting advice for Watertown residents. Information is also being packaged in a way that’s of most use to the people who really need it.

This googlemap geographically plots how the story is unfolding. If you’re a concerned local rather than someone gawping at a tragedy from the comfort of your bed, this is the sort of data that matters.

Social media 1 – Mainstream media 0

How the story looked online:

The Guardian

While dozens of tweets poured across Twitter, the online reporters at the Guardian seemed to be stunned into silence. Or perhaps they were sipping flat whites as they sat in their morning conference deciding how to cover the day’s news. You snooze, you lose people.


The New York Times

The Times’ front page pretty well identifies the problem traditional news is facing. No updates of the action and readers expected to The news does not sleep.

New York Times_Watertown_Boston

News, Twitter and Michael Jackson’s death

So Michael Jackson is dead. An era of pop has ended. Sorry to be such a hack about what a great story to go out on.

It’s 0145 BST and I’ve just got home after a frantic few hours in the newsroom, extended past my normal late shift finishing time.

On the taxi home I was wondering to myself if this will be one of the stories that everyone in media gets into a frenzy over but which actually in the cold light of day turns out to be irrelevant to most of the public.

We’ve totally gone to town on this story. First there was a breaking news bulletin a 11.33, followed by hourly updates. Three teams are being sent from London to the US to cover the story and the Washington desk has also had to decamp.

I was on the phone non-stop to Uri Geller’s house and lined up an interview for tomorrow morning at 8.30pm which should be shown on the special 9.30am bulletin as well as the news at noon. The real thrill was watching websites for updates – the LA Times’ coverage was outstanding, both on their site and through links on Twitter (care of Andrew Nystrom).

On the way home in the taxi the radio station was playing back to back Michael Jackson tracks. In the office the screens that I’d been staring of street scenes in LA, at the hospital, outside his house all gradually became  filled with a mass of people pouring out to express their grief.

As I got out of the taxi, shattered after a long day and on an adrenaline comedown I told the driver I hoped he enjoyed the Jackson tracks. “Actually,” he replied “I’m really upset about it.” Look forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.

30 fashion Twitter feeds you shouldn’t be without

Twitter’s influence on the fashion industry is set to last long after the buzz around the international fashion weeks has died down.

Back in 2004 when I was slaving away in Milan for a high-end Italian fashion boutique I would have killed for hourly updates on breaking industry news and trends.

Thankfully my days as a fashion-obsessive are long gone but as Consuming PR blogged last month, Twitter, a micro-blogging tool, speeds up the emergence of fashion trends.

No self-respecting fashionista is going to wait until next season’s collections to see what’s what.


So I’ve collated a list of the 30 twitter feeds that are essential reading. It’s a mixture of bloggers, magazines, brands and stylists  rated for their original content, speed and regular updates. Give me a shout if I’ve missed any.

– http://twitter.com/highsnobiety

Daily Online Street Fashion Magazine

– http://twitter.com/HilaryAlexander

Hilary Alexander tweets fashion and style news for telegraph.co.uk

– http://twitter.com/themoment

Where Style Meets Culture (usually first/club class on in the front row)

– http://twitter.com/Modelinia

Because models don’t get enough attention. Whoever said models weren’t smart? These feed proves that argument wrong. Very hot.


Trends and brands for boys

– http://twitter.com/SHOWstudio

Online fashion broadcasting company committed to pioneering live fashion media, (directed by the legend Nick Knight.)


eye-candy for the style hungry. Delightful


This Parisienne in London’s tweets are the epitome of hip. Musings on all facets of style

– http://twitter.com/Coutorture

Self promoting online fashion community comprised of over 240 fashion, beauty, street wear and fragrance blogs. An abundance of tips on great content

– http://twitter.com/#!/NETAPORTER

Self-promoting official Twitter of NET-A-PORTER.COM – the online luxury fashion retailer. (not much news but a must have if you’re an online fashion shopaholic)

– http://twitter.com/fakekarl

The world according to ‘Karl Largerfeld’. Funny

– http://twitter.com/fashion

Fashion news from ShoppingBlog.com. Good mix of content from their site and general fashion news.

– http://twitter.com/Stylerumor

News feed from Style Rumour. Good gossip.

– http://twitter.com/refinery29

The latest fashion trends and happenings as spotted by this NY based online mag

– http://twitter.com/juneAmbrose

The inside scoop from the celebrity fashion stylist and author

– http://twitter.com/MyFashionLife

Fashion blog updated daily. Hot off the mark

– http://twitter.com/stylebubble

Regular updates and insights from a fashion forward blogger

– http://twitter.com/real_rachel_zoe

Size zero fashion svengali. Rachel Z. Rosenzweig. Looks like she tweets as often as she eats.

– http://twitter.com/fashionpolice

“Fighting crimes of fashion”. Well somebody had to!

– http://twitter.com/InsideDVF

All things DVF…all the time! Average.

– http://twitter.com/NylonMag

Gossipy scoop from inside the self-declared “most awesome magazine in the world”

– http://twitter.com/selectism

Daily Men’s Fashion, Footwear, Lifestyle, and Design Culture Magazine. Good for boys

– http://twitter.com/FashionBrand

Editor of FashionBrand.co.uk- sourcing the best deals and reporting from the world of Internet fashion retail. Magically manages to make online retail hip and cool.

– http://twitter.com/Drapers

The fashion website and magazine. This British fashion institution covers all aspects of the fashion trade

– http://twitter.com/TimesFashion

The Times and Sunday Times do fashion. Insightful

– http://twitter.com/womensweardaily

The Official Women’s Wear Daily Twitter. Pretty much everything you’ll want to know from the world of fashion

– http://twitter.com/cutblog

New York magazine’s fashion blog

– http://twitter.com/ClosetCouture

Connecting and informing stylishly minded people

– http://twitter.com/catwalkqueen

UK based fashion news

– http://twitter.com/Sartorialist

Street trends as spotted by this influential photographer

UPDATE – 1/12

This article continues to gather a crazy following. I’ll do an full update at some point but just had to let you know about this great article about fashion designers on Twitter on Candada.com. No links but gives you a good insight into which fashion heads have got the Twitter bug. Thanks for reading!

The future trends in blog design

As I continue to post on this wordpress blog I often whish it had the simplicity of a Tumblr blog. For example, sometimes you come across a great quote that you don’t feel the need to add any extra content too. On Tumblr you can publish it as a stand-alone entry that still looks good, while on WordPress, it would just look really lame.

As such, the above preamble is the necessary text required to accompany this great article I stumbled across by Rachel Cunliffe at cr8d design who runs a number of award-winning blogs in New Zealand. The post outlines blog design trends for 2009 (I’m kinda late to spot this but it’s still very informative reading).