I’ve been having a quick look at ITV News live news stream. This is the “radical” new presentation of her news for the web age; ITV breaking free of traditional TV, print and multipage websites. You can read the story of the revamp here on the Made for Many blog.
The way it’s described sounds revolutionary but it appears to be a set of blogs organised according to location or topic. It’s bloggyness is confirmed by the use of vimeo embedded video stories. They say that multiple sources, not necessarily from ITV, will be curated by editors (or perhaps edited by curators), “Raw news delivered in copy, tweets, weblinks and pictures” . This does sound very blog like – but without a great deal of interaction.
The concept of a live news stream is something that is very evident in the way Facebook is now being presented, their rather attractive timeline feature gives a strong sense of the stream, the nowness of what’s being posted.
I wonder if the ITV streams present a kind of editorial bottleneck? There must be quite a lot of competition for the stream at any one time – how do they decide? Do some stories get bumped down the line until they are really quite old or missed out altogether? What happens if there is no news? What does “live” mean? A sequencial selection of stories chosen for us?
It can’t be vey representative and in fact is harking back to the linear news channel idea. Of course a single “pipe’ of news can never have the capacity to contain all that’s important in the world. I can see that a continuous live stream will appeal to those journalists who want to be the first to break the news. I think this is a fatal weakness in thinking.
What I really value is a news brand that I can fully trust. This is why organisations, channels, programmes and reporters are so important. These are the identities with which the audience can build a relationship of trust. News is a selection of stories chosen by us and for us and presented in a way that reflects the editorial judgement of the author and the taste of the consumer – which can vary. The stories are crafted to be as entertaining as possible while retaining some respect for the subject and occasionally the facts. They are products aimed at a target audience. Packages rather than streams.
The live news stream will have an important role to play when there is a breaking story of speed and magnitude. The Olympics will be enhanced, no doubt. ButI see is it as an “appointment to view” facility to be used only occasionally.