Sunday, 8 June 2008

Access to news

I read this morning on NineMSN that Hilary Clinton had finally conceded defeat and endorsed Barack Obama.

The news story had a link to a video of Clinton's speech, so I clicked on the link to go and watch it.

Rather than the video I got a NineMSN dialog box telling me that my browser was not compatible with their video.

In spite of this, the dialog box offered the chance to proceed to video if I wanted to. So I did.

I landed on a page with dozens of video screen grabs, but no sign of the Clinton video.

Frustrated I headed to the New York Times.

Not only did they have a video that worked, they showed me what on online newspaper is all about.

The video was her speech in full. It ran for close to half an hour.

Alongside the video in a separate screen was a transcript of her speech.

Next to that was a list of links to key parts of the speech, much like a DVD chapter list.

So rather than sit through ten minutes of platitudes and thank yous I could get straight to the nitty gritty.

It wasn't that long ago that the New York Times made you pay for a lot of their online content.

Not anymore.

It has followed the lead set by The Guardian many years ago and become a 21st century newspaper.

Sadly NineMSN, which proudly proclaims itself Australia's most visited web portal, offers me little more than a handful of news stories and celebrity puff pieces. What a wasted opportunity.