Al Jazeera English is posting Live Messages from Egypt—audio messages recorded from phone calls placed by their correspondents on the ground in Egypt.
This may not sound like a major technological feat; correspondents have been phoning in live updates since the invention of the telephone. But the cool part here is that Al Jazeera is using Scribble Live (a service I covered before) to get these audio updates online fast and smoothly, with minimal newsroom processing required.
ScribbleLive allows news organizations quickly integrate multiple types of content from multiple sources into a stream of coverage that’s fairly easy for site visitors to follow and explore. You can set it up on the fly, and choose which types of content from which sources you want to integrate. It’s an example of the modular approach to story creation that’s adding a new dimension to breaking news.
In this case, Al Jazeera correspondents are calling from mobile phones or landlines in Egypt and recording their updates as voice messages. These recordings are saved by the system as MP3 audio files and readied for publishing. Editors then only need to choose which files to publish—they don’t have to do a lot of processing and packaging of the audio content. In a breaking news situation, a system like this this can save a lot of time and effort.