Here's a nice post from technology journalist Charles Arthur on why news doesn't have to be, well,Â new. The Brand/Russell broadcast, Arthur points out, should have been cold potatoes by the time the Mail on Sunday picked it up more than a week after it had gone out. Not so, as we have seen. And he gives a neat definition that encapsulates a newspaper law: "News is what the reader doesnâ€™t yet know, but you can persuade them they want to".
Arthur says: "Itâ€™s easy to forget that itâ€™s not always about getting the news to people instantly. If the Ross/Brand story had gone onto the Mailâ€™s site on the Saturday evening after it went out, what could it have written? 'Comic makes offensive joke'? Sometimes these things need to stew a bit. News is sometimes instant. But sometimes, it tastes better cooked slow."
The skill (or luck, or judgement, or experience) is knowing when this applies. Is it a stew to keep on the back burner, or is it a Pot Noodle?
Tim's pick of the day earlier this week, of Martin Ivens' Osbourne/Mandelson story - which he held on to for many weeks until the timing was right -Â is another goodÂ case in point. That also developed 'legs' he wouldn't have imagined at the time. Softlee, softlee (or perhaps quietlee, quietlee) catchee monkee.
Via Adrian Monck