Yesterday was Patriots’ Day in the United States. It was a day that was, for so many, about doing nothing more than crossing a finish line.
Until it wasn’t.
All it took was a moment for people across North America and the world to stop what they were doing and turn their attention to Boston; for yesterday to become a day that sports reporters scrapped routine copy for capturing, filtering and reporting breaking news; for reporters and editors alike to think on their feet and make decisions in real-time. That moment was at 04:09:51 of the 117th Boston Marathon, to be exact, when the first explosion occurred at the finish line of the race.
As we all know, the new reality of breaking news is that journalists tell their readers what they know, as they discover it, in real-time. After all, “if journalism is the first draft of history, live blogging is the first draft of journalism,” as Andrew Sparrow wrote for The Guardian, after liveblogging the entirety of the United Kingdom general election in 2010.
And that type of real-time reporting is what so many newsrooms did yesterday, in the aftermath of the explosions in Boston. (more…)