Tuesday, 6 July 2010

LIVE! or, quite frankly, dead?

We all love a breaking news story; that rush of adrenalin when you get a big call, the joy when someone shouts that they have secured an interview with the main player (especially if you're that reporter), the satisfaction at seeing a million-page spread the next day that was created in under four hours. Oh, it's what it's all about.

And in digital realm, or digital sphere, (I love those corporate phrases so much I'm going to continue to use them) the breaking news possibilities are endless; live blogs, reader pics and comments from the scene, videos as they happen... Oh, it's better than sex really.

Imagine though, having to provoke that kind of enthusiasm for something not quite so exciting as a murder, or a hostage situation, or transfer deadline day (for the sport lovers out there)..?

Imagine instead, having to provide a constantly-updated, enthralling live blog of... The Tour de France. Or the World Cup (when noone is playing for more than seven hours), or county cricket (no explanation needed surely?).

Yep, I would imagine due to some impressive viewing figures for early live blogs, such as the BBC's excellent test match efforts from the likes of Tom Fordyce and Ben Dirs (see, I don't just slag off dear old Aunty) and the election coverage from the Guardian, the suits in charge of the digital sphere have now decided that this is the way forward.

Cue live coverage, on this random day, being provided at various news sites of the Tour de France, the World Cup, and county cricket.

By God, do we really need live coverage from county cricket grounds up and down the country, which we all know amounts to a bloke sitting in front of Ceefax waiting for a score to change?

In a world where we are constantly told, and are constantly moaning, that staff levels are lower than ever, is this really an effective use of resources?

If it is, I want to see those figures. How many people, really, sit and wait for the Guardian to update Durham's score from the County Ground? Although the question should really be, who - who is interested in such rapid-fire updates - doesn't have the desire to find Ceefax for themselves and get the updates more quickly?

It's ridiculous.

A big event is fine, an Ashes Test match, the FA Cup final, the World Cup final, something like that, especially when combined with witty banter and useless stats which we all love.

But we are excited about these things, just like a breaking story. And let's be right, the World Cup final IS a breaking news story, as is the FA Cup, or the Wimbledon tennis final.

But a day of county cricket that will be repeated EVERY DAY (or so it seems) throughout the summer?

Are you sure?

I doubt the adrenalin pumps quite so freely for more than a dozen people across the land.

Still, one thing that did warrant 'live' coverage on this day, was the excellent Sky News blog on the Raoul Moat incident, including video updates etc.

Lovely stuff, and I bet the adrenalin was pumping like a good 'un.

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