Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Bombs

Bombs today in London - and it emphasises that, no matter how quickly news like winning the Olympic bid can travel, serious, developing stories are still muddled and confused by online media.

An example: The first bomb went off on the tube at 8.50am, by all accounts. Sitting in the office, news started filtering through, from people arriving at work late who had had disrupted journeys, but also from people getting phone calls from friends and relatives.

However none of the news sites I went to had any news on this before about 10.20 - it was still reported as 'Explosions in the tube caused by power surges'. Both the BBC and the Guardian had this, despite TV and radio reporting bombs on the tube, and shortly afterwards the bus bombing.

So we all went to a conference room and watched BBC news.

Gradually online sources have caught up - but whether on the Guardian NewsBlog, or even on the Popbitch message board it's just a case of people reporting what they're seeing on TV.

In fact the Guardian deserves special praise - rather than to keep updating their main story with small alterations (although they're doing that as well), they're devoting their blog to it, and publishing new bits of information as they some in. Perfect example:

"1212 There are now reports from the London Ambulance Service of an explosion in Leicester Square. Update Reader Rod Stanley emails in - he works near Leicester Square, and all is calm there. Thanks for that, Rod."

In comparison to 911, fewer sites have crashed - although Reuters did (Server Too Busy), but the others have stayed up. CNN seems to be doing a very good job.

Edit - 3pm London

But... the online sources have now caught up, and are providing unique insights as well as concise summaries of the situation. This wikipedia coverage is excellent

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