Breaking news from the Netherlands where around noon a shooting took place at the shopping mall #ridderhof in Alphen a/d Rijn. The counting of the dead and wounded is still taking place; the latest reliable count says
four six dead (one person died from a heart attack) and nine 16 wounded.
Not surprisingly, I was alerted to the news just after it happened by Twitter, a clear sign that this it the preferred tool for breaking news. Mainstream media now also have their reporters at the place, while the mayor is holding a press conference.
This is also a moment to compare some of the websites of the big dailies in the Netherlands and see how they deal with the news. Winner is for me the NRC Handelsblad, who offers a dedicated page that is refreshed very fast. They have been revamping their website drastically and have moved away from the traditional lay-out from their paper. The others - De Telegraaf and De Volkskrant - had fast updates, but it was not as convenient as the NRC Handelsblad.
I had no time to look at more websites, and you might think differently on how to deal with non-breaking news, but NRC Handelsblad has the best approach for breaking news.
They did not show the raw Twitter feed (#ridderhof), I had to use hootsuite to watch that. They edited carefully their own entries, linked to other media including embedded TV broadcasts and tweets, but clearly made their own editorial decisions. Well, it was still chaos and mayhem, but a smart solution.
Update: Just had a look at NOS.nl, the public broadcaster. They only link to their own sources, so that looks like a losing proposition. Same goes for RTL, the commercial station, although they have a heavy tweeting anchorman.
Did I mention that Facebook does not seem to work for this breaking news?
- Breaking News:2011 Social Media Report is Out! (canuckseo.com)