Friday, February 09, 2007

Knoxville fire shows changing news biz

Jack Lail, multimedia managing editor of the Knoxville News-Sentinel has a good look at how things have changed in the news business with his summary of how the N-S -- and the rest of Knoxville, it seems -- covered one of the biggest fires in that city's history:

We've had live blogging from news events, but this, it was different.

If you're just catching up, two warehouses and another building in the downtown area caught fire just after 1 a.m. Wednesday and burned through most of the day, leaving four firefighters in the hospital and raining embers down on much of downtown.

People living in the nearby downtown condos on North Gay captured the late-night-into-day fire with digital still cameras and video cameras. The results are just a search away on Flickr and YouTube and personal Web sites. Bloggers here and yonder logged in with personal tales, links and tidbits.

The city's Web site posted a slide show. The sheriff's department shot aerial video.

All the traditional media used their Web sites for as-it-happens news. At the News Sentinel, where I hang out, we had quite a bit of video, audio, tons of photos, stories that seemed living they changed so much. You can see a lot of the multimedia and sidebars attached to this story.

Email news alerts flew out. Cell phone alerts buzzed in. Page views and visits ratcheted up.

Bob Stepno, a friend and AEJMC Newspaper Division colleague at UT, has a good roundup of coverage, too.

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