Friday, January 28, 2011

All eyes on Egypt

I'm still recovering from the flu and so I won't attempt to write today about events in Eqypt, social media and the Internet -- all thing very much on my mind this morning. I expect TNM will be back with regular posts on Monday. There will be a lot to talk about.

Channel surfing:

BBC World Service: live radio news coverage of the events in Egypt. Much of the reporting has been incredibly well done, though the service has made the silly decision to stick to its regular schedule. It is currently (10 AM EST) broadcasting a documentary: "Roland Buerk looks at Japan's growing "rent a friend" industry." Really?

The Guardian: live blogging events as always. Example: 3.17pm: A second police station has been taken over by protesters in Suez, reports al-Jazeera.

The New York Times: the Times loves packages. A package includes a main story updated frequently that gets the reader quickly up to speed; a live blog, in this case The Lede; and side stories.

CNN: The cable news channel has a live video stream on its website showing live shots from Cairo. It is a rather strange experience as the stream jumps back and forth between live Egyptian television and its own web cams without audio -- as if watching events from outer space without any understanding of events.

While the main CNN channel remains a news-free zone, CNN International is doing its best to show events in Egypt. In fact, as Mubarak is about to speak to the nation CNN says "let's take a break" and goes to commercial. Later: while looking at live video of tear gas attacks on protesters CNN host asks "so, Ben, how unusual is this?". Next: "hold on Ben, let's take a break."

Al Jazeera: Al Jazeera in English seems more capable than the other cable news channels of keeping their attention on the story of importance. The NYT more and more refers to Al Jazeera's content in its news updates. The bad news is that Al Jazeera depends on Flash to stream its video and, well, it keeps crashing, and failing, in general.