The BBC let me down today. Twitter gave me a new perspective.
Being from Northern Ireland, I have strong feelings about events of the last few days (and indeed some of the ill-informed blogging around the subject - but that's for another post) and wanted to follow the silent protests planned for today.
So I turned to the BBC NI website. It was showing me helicopter footage of the crowds gathering while the protest was actually happening. Where were the, even still, images of the actual event? Broadcasting Hose in Belfast is only a couple of minutes walk from the City Hall and you can see the area of the protest from the BH roof - I know because I used to work there.
While I was looking for useful BBC coverage I received a tweet from someone at the protest which alerted me to the hashtag #silentprotest. A quick search later and I was able to read comments and reaction from those outside the City Hall and see live pictures of the crowds. I couldn't be there but through Twitter I was able at least share some of the feelings and perceptions. Under the circumstances that shared experience was important.
After a while a check back with the BBC revealed little change. Yet it didn't need to do much to give me what I needed - some live blogging, a selection of still images, a short video of the silent part up as soon as possible. Yes there was a report up after a while but it lacked the immediacy and emotion I experienced with Twitter today.
I am a journalist, I understand all the arguments the BBC might make but I think this is an important example of how digital media has changed how we must approach some events.