OLD Media Moves

Liveblogging GM's earnings conference call doesn't work

November 17, 2009

Matthew DeBord of The Big Money doesn’t find much to intrigue him about Micheline Maynard of The New York Times liveblogging the GM earnings conference call.

DeBord writes, “I don’t much see the point in live-blogging events if your goal is simply to tell people what’s happening, rather than why or what it means. The New York Times’ Micheline Maynard live-blogged GM’s third-quarter financial report today, but besides telling us what CEO Fritz Henderson said, or how he responded to this or that reporter’s question, there isn’t much that tells us the significance of the information dispensed. Maynard has been covering the auto industry for a long time, so this is actually kind of dumbfounding.

“Or else it’s an indication that live-blogging is actually kind of pointless. Increasingly, I think it is. Twitter is vastly better for providing the moment-by-moment rundown, as I discovered last week when I covered the L.A. launch of the Nissan’s new electric car, the Leaf. The blogging part becomes useful later, when you need to provide more analysis, quotes, and pictures and video. Not much later, obviously. But after enough time has passed to digest the proceedings and provide context, links, etc. Much later, you can start thinking about how to sew it all up and create some kind of big-picture piece. But you can see the outlines of a new journalistic cycle here. Twitter first.

“Maybe the NYT isn’t ready to make this leap with its business coverage, assuming that proper reflection needs to skip the blogging stage and go retro with an officially sanctioned report in the paper itself, plus a more traditional story also published on the Web. In any case, I typically ignore live-blogs these days and almost automatically try to find out if there’s Twittering afoot instead. Maynard tweets, but there wasn’t the kind of activity I imagined on her account.”

Read more here.

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