29 April 2005

Online journalism is closer to broadcast than print

About 90 mins ago I got an email from airline PR about a new air fare to Beirut. I was just preparing a couple of special offers for the Travel Lists site, RSS newsfeed and mobile feeds, so I thought I'd add it in. As I began editing it I realised it didn't actually say that this fare was better than the one it replaced! So I fired of an email reply asking them to confirm, parked what I had done so far, and got on with something else.

An hour later there was no reply so I phoned. Answer machine. I didn't bother to leave a message. I dropped the story instead, and found something else to take its place.

As it happens, the PR had popped out for something. As soon as he got back he phoned me and confirmed the item. As a result, I've added it to the feed.

My point is a lot of PRs still move at the pace of print, which means I wind up dropping the story. Because if I try to follow up a story lead, I want the answer back that same morning or afternoon. The next day is usually too late.

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