Here's a nice post from technology journalist Charles Arthur on why news doesn't have to be, well, 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 doesn’t yet know, but you can persuade them they want to".

Arthur says: "It’s easy to forget that it’s not always about getting the news to people instantly. If the Ross/Brand story had gone onto the Mail’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 - is another good 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

Sometimes news has to stew a bit