Posts Tagged Osama bin Laden

The death of Osama bin Laden: NYT plots reactions on an interactive map

One of the most exciting and entertaining element of online news, for me, is our ability to harness data and display it like never before.

I’ve been a massive fan of the website Information is Beautiful for many years, and I really like the Guardian‘s Data Store, which features great visual guides to the most recent topics in the media.

Reactions to the Alternative Voting System (or AV) according to the gospel of Twitter. (Image courtesty guardian.co.uk)

The New York Times is another publication which produces some amazing multimedia work and today I came across this:

The Death of a Terrorist: A Turning Point?

It invites readers to plot their reactions to two questions: How much of a turning point in the war on terror will Bin Laden’s death represent?  and What is your emotional response? The former is gauged from significant to insignificant; the latter from positive to negative. It’s a really easy way to see people’s reactions – it’s well worth a look.

Information, particularly comment and opinion, can take on a whole new meaning when it can be turned into something visual and interactive – it’s so much easier to understand and even analyse and it’s a brilliant way of transforming the mundane into an issue worth further discussion.

Osama bin Laden’s death will be the talking point of many debates over the next few weeks and months.  ‘A Safer World‘ a discussion held at  The Front Line Club this evening on the ramifications for Pakistan, Afghanistan and the West, sold out in hours and just earlier this afternoon I was listening to a podcast from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation discussing about the effects Osama’s death could have on Obama’s presidential campaign for the elections next year.

The NYT shows that this type of information could be valuable in determining how the public feel about these issues, not just the ‘experts’.

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News and social media: Osama bin Laden’s death delivered via Twitter

Image courtesy bbc.co.uk/news

The news of Osama bin Laden’s death will dominate the headlines for a little while longer, yet what interested me most about yesterday’s breaking story was a short clip shown on BBC which featured Americans at a baseball game (I think!) getting the news of Osama’s death on their phones hours before President Obama made his official announcement. Sitting in front of the TV drinking my morning coffee, I was also in the middle of finalising an essay about whether news can survive new media, so this BBC clip really caught my attention.

I’m of the firm belief that news and media institutions aren’t ‘done for’. News organisations need to continue to adapt to a changing society, which they have done – from the printing press, to the radio, to television, to the Internet, to satellite channels and now to web-based news feeds, social media sites and alternative (non-mainstream) news platforms which are all now accessible through a continually-advancing array of mobile media devices.

So this morning when I logged into WordPress, I found this post “The 7 stages of News in a Twitter and Facebook Era”  which seemed particularly relevant to what I was writing about yesterday and provided an interesting commentary on how news develops through alternative platforms i.e. not your established news sources. The article, which features on Gigaom (by Stacey Higginbotham) also provided a concluding thought that I’m totally in agreeeance with:

As journalists, we often get scoops or hear of news and have to make a similar set of judgments before reporting it, but on Twitter, what often starts out as gossip now has the weight of news. As recipients, we have no way to judge at first glance though if it’s real or wishful thinking. Perhaps it’s time we gave ourselves a better set of tools?

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