A little past 9 a.m. today, a long fleet of truckers roared down the central business area of Harrisburg, all incessantly honking their horns. Some had signs taped outside their windows, revealing that they were protesting gas prices at the Capitol.
Interesting story, as anyone who lives or has an office downtown surely has heard them.
So let’s compare “coverage” from Twitter users and the local newspaper’s Web site, shall we?
Dani_PA PA truckers “convoying” to Capitol today to protest gas prices.Gas is too expensive, so they’re spending mucho $$ to drive w/o pay? (9:10 a.m.)
bydanielvictor Trucks blaring horns on 2nd Street in protest of gas prices. Normally I’d be amused but they woke me up. Was looking fwd to sleeping in.
bydanielvictor Thought it was a Three Mile Island alarm or some other apocalypse notification system.
gotwalt Hundreds of tractor trailers driving by the office honking their horns to protest gas prices. It’s like a hangover simulator.
lmarburger I’m sure a horn-blaring truck convoy will lower the price of gas. Thank you, Harrisburg.
Dani_PA I HATE PA TRUCKERS AND THEIR HORNS. Nonstop for 30 min. Doesn’t Harrisburg have a noise violation policy? Why aren’t they getting ticketed!
Now let’s compare that all with what readers would find at the local newspaper’s Web site at 9:55 a.m.:
Traffic around The Capital Complex could be complex this morning when 75 truckers bring their rigs without trailers into downtown Harrisburg for a 10 a.m. rally. (emphasis added)
The newspaper’s update has more details, of course. But I italicized “could be complex” because it’s predictive, where as Twitter is immediately reactive.
Twitter showed me a variety of sources, and I laughed out loud at the “hangover simulator” comment.
Twitter allowed @20seven to ask a witness — whether or not I’m a reporter, I’m sure, was irrelevant — about what’s happening right now.
Twitter allowed me to link to our newspaper’s Web site for details.
And Twitter allowed @20seven to tell me, and any of his other followers, about traffic details I wouldn’t know about any other way.
Now I’m not criticizing my newspaper’s handling of it. In fact, it shows we’ve come a long way in that a morning newspaper can tell people why there are a bunch of horns blaring outside their window at 9 a.m.
The newspaper’s Web site did as well as it could under how we currently operate. Problem is, this experience on Twitter shows how the supposed immediacy of blogging just won’t be immediate enough as more people find their way to services like Twitter.