I just read a post from LondonTopic.ca(see: Curtain Call?), outlining the independent news site’s downfall. Going beyond his family issues, and while I’m sure his heart was in the right place, maybe it was just bad timing. It was a concept that would have been big 10 years ago, but may be past its prime now.
We’re seeing large news networks slowly crumble, laying off people who have been in the public eye for years. There are regional stations being taken off the air, creating a lack of purely local news. As much as I like CNN for world news, they don’t tell me what’s happening down the street.
With more and more people online and using social media, the next step is obvious. We don’t need another website with a handful of reporters. Its clear that that concept won’t work.
What we are going to see in the future is up-to-the-second social reporting. This does have issues, especially with finding reliable facts (see: Gordon Lightfoot is Not Dead), but imagine a report filed by 10 people(for accuracy), as soon as something happens, with real-time updating. This goes beyond news broadcasting at 6pm every night. With Twitter and Facebook, we know when things happen almost as they are happening. It just depends on who you follow, and how they are involved.
So can this be the future of news? Can London (or any other city), be converted into social-based news? We can still have the News at 6, giving a good rundown on what happened, but knowing that news is happening instantly has more of a pull to the online generation.
Once we figure out the glitches of a social news network, local news could be more direct, local and up-to-date. Maybe this is what could be the next LondonTopic.ca, with the same idea of bringing pure local news, but just in a different, social media format.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.