Monday, 2 February 2009

Let it snow, let it snow

Okay, so my new year's resolution didn't get off to the best start, but better late than never.

I'm blogging today because I've been struck by how today's incredible weather events have really shown how newspapers can take on - and outdo - TV and radio in covering breaking news.

The last time I experienced snow like this was during the Big Freeze in 1987, when I was very small. My memories may be getting a little mixed with the hurricane of the same year, but I can remember my mum tuning to the local radio to try and catch news of whether my primary school was open. There was also fairly comprehensive news there on transport and all other weather-related goings-on. But - you had to wait patiently through all the inane phone-ins to make sure you heard the news relevant to you.

Today, long before the schools opened, we had a first draft of school closures online - and our readers were helpfully adding to it before our scattered skeleton staff could. So I think newspaper websites win hands down there.

I lived in a town with a thriving daily newspaper, but I would be surprised if it managed to get its edition that day out to all the newsagents it usually did. However today, we had fairly comprehensive coverage online within a couple of hours, including readers' pictures and videos - as well as the equivalent of a week's letters pages by the end of the day.

I know I'm not saying anything new here - it's just that today really brought home the huge strides online journalism has allowed local newspapers to make in the last 20 years - and in that sense, the future looks bright.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Seaview-Twitter. said...

When I was a lad we had to walk to school, even if the snow was up to our necks, and if we were late the teachers would chastise us.

That doesn't happen anymore.

In 1971 I bought an electric iron for my wife, she's used it everyday since and it's never needed repairing.

We didn't have mobile phones and internet either - if we wanted to know what the weather was like we had to get of our *rse and look out the window!