At exactly 1:35 AM, on 11th August, admittedly well past the bedtime of “decent” folks, I sent a twit out from my Twitter account:
#earthquake in Delhi… still shaking1:35 AM Aug 11th from webAnd, went to the search to check if others have sensed it as well, or was it my imagination. And, no it wasn’t. “Tweeple” world-over were sending out messages, trying to inform, connect with their folks in Delhi (and in other places). I wanted to get some ol’ fashioned news. So, went across to the HT site; no update. Went and checked TOI; no update. Went and checked their Twitter accounts, no updates. All this while, NYT and CNN are connstantly updating their websites and telling us about the Tsunami warning in place. I learn that the epicentre is close to the Indian east coast; all from foreign media.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed the complete lack of news of the earthquake/ Tsunami warning even after an hour of the event. See most interesting message exchange that was going on at the time, below:
RT @SonnyAhuja I think TOI needs to outsource its newsroom..tsunami can reach Indian coast in hrs.they’ll let us know after its done2:59 AM Aug 11th from web
@SonnyAhuja sincerely hope not; there is a #Tsunami warning out; still no update from @httweets @TOI_twitter @times_of_india2:56 AM Aug 11th from web in reply to SonnyAhuja
Much after #Earthquake, HT and TOI websites still no update; @httweets @times_of_india @toi_twitter; irrelevance of old media for news2:53 AM Aug 11th from web
More than an hour after the #Earthquake, both HT and TOI website shows no mention of earthquake..#news #India2:33 AM Aug 11th from web
@htTweets, wake up guys and smell the coffee. There was an earthquake and no updates.. guess old media is becoming irrelevant for news2:31 AM Aug 11th from web
@SonnyAhuja TOI newsroom was sleeping when it happened :-) I think almost precisely at 1:30 am local time2:23 AM Aug 11th from web in reply to SonnyAhuja
@SonnyAhuja my broadband (mtnl) works fine as you see :-) cellphone fine too2:22 AM Aug 11th from web in reply to SonnyAhuja
@SonnyAhuja I am in Delhi and awake.. yep, was an earthquake but no sweat1:55 AM Aug 11th from web in reply to SonnyAhuja
RT @Kedar9 Plz help spreading the word. #INDIA AUTHORIZED HOSPITALS FOR TREATMENT OF #SWINE FLU in #INDIAhttp://bit.ly/3fXKhl1:54 AM Aug 11th from web
@greatbong, the advices were very timely; no gyaan or bakwaas. So, thank you1:46 AM Aug 11th from web
From @Greatbong, who else? | Five Bits of Unsolicited Advice For Bloggers http://lin.cr/v8e1:44 AM Aug 11th from web
WAD A Problem http://lin.cr/t6r | Nice take on the Indian cricketers’ battle with the WADA code @Greatbong1:38 AM Aug 11th from web
#earthquake in Delhi… still shaking1:35 AM Aug 11th from web
Here’s what the TOI and HT Twitter account activities looked like about an hour from the event.
It is evident that these accounts have little, if any feedback loop, manned as they are by pre-programmed apps, broadcasting links to the blogs/ other online content produced by their staff.
They just don’t get it, do they?