I’m writing during the wrap-up of quite a 72-hour news cycle—Chrysler’s bankruptcy, Arlen Specter’s switching parties, Justice Souter’s planned departure, the continuing expansion of the swine-flu threat, President Obama’s 100-days news conference, and the premature death of Las Vegas super-impressionist Danny Gans (a favorite of mine from days gone by).

Ten or 15 years ago, keeping up with such a news deluge would have been a strain, but I’ve found it surprisingly easy to stay atop all that has been happening the past couple days. What I might have missed at my usual online news sources I’ve picked up from Twitter and Facebook friends who have posted tweets, repeats and feats at the speed of news.  CNN has sent me what must have been a record number of “Breaking News” alerts over the past two days, and I’ve been able to watch live online coverage of President Obama, Congress and the World Health Organization as they’ve reported the latest developments around the world.

If nothing else, the transformation and democratization of news reporting is making us more informed, and we’re learning about crucial events much more rapidly.  The news “report” eventually may go the way of newsprint as—with a little help from our friends—we tune in real-time to our neighborhoods and our nation.

–Steve Friedman

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