In the age of social media, scoops can last just a matter of seconds. As New York Times interactive editor Aron Pilhofer noted in a session on moving towards smarter, better online content, gone are the days when competitors would have to wait 24 hours to take your scoop. Now, he said, it’s almost irrelevant to be first, and the value of being right outweighs the value of being first by magnitudes.
It’s not just traditional news organizations who feel this way. Adam Baker, founder of citizen journalism site Blottr, said that his team can’t afford to get anything wrong, because they don’t have the reputation of an established brand.
Most normal people don’t even know who broke a story, said Anthony De Rosa, Reuters’ social media editor, in a session on citizen journalism. Eric Carvin, social media editor at the Associated Press, suggested that scoops are becoming less relevant, with great investigative pieces becoming more important. Pilhofer made a similar point, commenting that any blog could cut and summarise a breaking news article, but a piece like Snowfall will always be unique to The Times.