Hunt and Gather: News consumption in the 21st century

After the tragic Boston Marathon Bombing, earlier this week, and with the current pursuit of the MIT shooter, law enforcement, news agencies, and the netizens of America rallied together and demonstrated just how interactive the news has become.

Late into the night, I was glued to my computer, with one window showing a live newscast, a Twitter feed of Watertown running in another, and, of course, Reddit. I watched and read with concentrated obsession: there was an emotional whirlwind in my head of concern for my friends in Boston and at MIT, a blend of urgency and excitement as the manhunt unfolded, and genuine fascination with how connected I felt to the scene.

My computer had become a makeshift command center for tracking the Boston manhunt.

(Credit: Screenshot by Eddie Cho)

I started to reflect upon how news consumption has morphed from a passive into an active pastime for consumers.

As I listened to the police feed, I was constantly comparing transcripts with what was on the news, and googling definitions of various police codes as they were listed with thick, regional accents that sounded so foreign to me: It was like conducting a symphony of information management that quite frankly, I had always known consumers were capable of, but never actually applied to such a degree — until now. Twitter, Reddit, and streaming radio and TV had turned my PC into a command center.

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giveaway / April 20, 2013 / Software
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