Thursday, November 12, 2009

New dimension of news

Keenly-awaited revelations are being made at present (which means right now) by 82-year-old Charles Pasqua, former French minister of the Interior under both Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand. A few days ago, Pasqua was condemned to a year's jail for his role in the sale of arms to Angola.

While writing, I'm tuned in to the website of the Le Monde newspaper which is providing me with a live textual transcription—minute by minute, almost sentence by sentence, accompanied by short comments from journalists—of Pasqua's press conference. The latest time indicated on the website clock is a mere minute less than the time displayed by my Macintosh, which means that I'm truly obtaining live information. And every time that the website is displaying a textual update, it warns me by producing a weird woodpecker noise. In other words, I'm obtaining a textual account of the Pasqua press conference in real time. It's certainly an impressive Internet achievement. This sort of technology would be fabulous if the entire planet were awaiting the words of a prophet or a savior... but it's surely a little too overkill in the case of the lukewarm revelations promised by Pasqua.

At the instant I'm writing (15 h 55), somebody has just asked Pasqua whether Sarkozy was aware of these illegal arms transactions. Good question. Alas, Pasqua's reply is hardly world-shaking.

As you can see from my words, I'm not yet totally convinced that naive observers such as myself can benefit greatly from this kind of super-live Internet display of press conferences. But I might very well end up changing my opinions on that question. So, be patient. After all, don't forget that you're listening to me live! I need time to reflect...

BREAKING NEWS: I'm amazed to realize that I've already published a blog article on Pasqua's press conference before it's even finished! It's 5 minutes past 4 o'clock, and a journalist has just described Pasqua's revelations as a damp firecracker. I won't be offended if anybody uses similar criticism for the present blog.

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