If you haven’t noticed, the internet and social media have turned our society on its head at every level, dramatically changing the way we live, work, think and learn.
I am a great advocate of this new technology, which here in the newspaper world, we harness every day.
Your Bucks Herald, like many local papers, is no longer a single weekly news gathering operation but a forceful 24/7 news feed fit for a modern Aylesbury community.
To operate at this level nowadays technology is key with web first news gathering, Twitter, Facebook and video all playing their part in the instant mix of media demands.
That’s not to say the brand loses its local roots, as to wipe out 180 years of history is nigh on impossible and the people of Aylesbury Vale are still the Bucks Herald’s lifeblood.
Unlike my time as a reporter, today’s multimedia journalist has to operate at this level from day one and I am lucky to have a team here by my side at the paper who are up for the challenge and very, very switched on to the benefits new media brings. Your Bucks Herald 2013 is probably now reaching audience numbers not seen for a decade. (Advertisers take note.)
But lurking in amongst this culture of new and social media is a dangerous animal... the lack of hard facts.
The instant social media Twitter and Facebook are the worst offenders as often stories, or hints of stories, are touted around the community with little substance to back them up. The young as you might imagine are the worst offenders.
Sometimes speed of delivery isn’t everything although I do remember an old hack from the nationals many years ago saying to me ‘**** the facts Rog and just get the story’.
Only this week with the horror unfolding minute by minute of the terrorist attacks in Nairobi, the monster raised its ugly head with confused information and speculation coming out of Nairobi about the Aylesbury terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite.
She was the wife of 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsey and was brought up and schooled in Aylesbury. Many of her family still live here. But what story do you print in a case like this?
As The Herald went to press yesterday (Tuesday) no one had officially answered the question of whether she was dead or even involved in the horrific attacks.
Websites, Twitter and Facebook however had plenty to say based on hearsay. As for hard facts, well those will have to wait for another day.