Tuesday, May 03, 2011

烏薩瑪·賓·拉登之死: 路邊社消息 / Death of Osama bin Laden: Heard it Through the Grapevine

路邊社消息? 還是路透社 (Reuters)消息?

I learnt the news abt Osama bin Laden's death from my friend Kempton in Calgary since I have a subscription of his blog via email. But back 10-15 years ago, I would have to get such news from CBC and other mainstream media outlets. For example: I still remember receiving a telephone call from someone alerting me of the live TV broadcast abt the 9/11 attack of the World Trade Centre in New York, NY.

Nowadays, ppl often get their info thru Face Book, Twitter and other social networks on their iphone, ipad, BlackBerry and other mobile devices. In fact, the first tweet message concerning the Osama bin Laden raid was sent by someone living close by who heard and saw the helicopters, and then the explosions. He had not known at the time that his tweet was of international significance !!!



By David Bauder, The Associated Press The Canadian Press – Tue, 3 May, 2011

Reports on Bin Laden's death shows how nature of news has changed since attack

..... "It just kind of spread like wildfire online," said Stephen Vujevich, a student at Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. "It's amazing to see how social media played a part in it." Vujevica was at his girlfriend's house and both were on their laptops, when she said that many of her friends had updated their Facebook status to note bin Laden's death in Pakistan. He went to Google News to find out that President Barack Obama had scheduled an address to the nation. He searched other sites to get news and credited Twitter with giving him the most immediate information .....

A soldier who identified himself only as Carlos from Queens called New York sports radio station WFAN Monday to note that he and his buddies in Afghanistan learned the news not from commanding officers, but from Facebook.....

..... Abroad, the mediums of choice were much the same. Perhaps most prominently, one Twitter user told the story before the world knew what was happening — he lives near the compound in Pakistan where bin Laden was killed and became, in his words, "the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it."

Sohaib Athar, 33, is a computer programmer who was startled by a helicopter clattering in the early hours Monday. He tweeted about it, and soon the sole helicopter multiplied into several and gunfire and explosions rocked the air above the town. Athar's tweets quickly garnered tens of thousands of followers as he apparently became the first in the world to describe the U.S. operation to kill one of the world's most wanted terrorists......

..... Twitter said that it saw its highest sustained rate of tweets. There was an average of 3,440 tweets-per-second from 10:45 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. EST (0245 to 0430 GMT), according to the site. At 11 p.m. EST (0300 GMT), there were 5,106 tweets-per-second.

Internet traffic surged above normal Sunday night usage. Akamail Technologies Inc., which delivers about 20 per cent of the world's Internet traffic, said that global page views for the roughly 100 news portals for which it delivers content peaked at more than 4.1 million page views around 11 p.m. EDT. CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC had nearly 15 million viewers between 11 p.m. and midnight Sunday when Obama spoke, led by CNN's 7.8 million. That time on a typical Sunday, the three networks are pulling in 1.7 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Co.

There was a rush for information on mainstream online news sites, and sometimes it caused problems; The New York Times website was inaccessible for about 30 minutes shortly after the news broke due to the volume of traffic. ABC News said its digital properties had their busiest hour in their history Sunday night. MSNBC said its site had delivered 1.73 million streams of Obama's speech on Sunday night.....
Photo Credit:
* (Reuters) US Prez and his staff in the Situation Room, White House monitoring the Bin Laden situation

Related link:

Heard it through the grapevine

Meaning: An indication that a piece of information was obtained via an informal contact.

The first practical public demonstration of the telegraph was given in 1844, when Samuel Morse sent a message from Washington to Baltimore. The invention was widely welcomed as a means of rapidly communicating news. It soon became clear though that close communities already had effective word-of-mouth communications. Soon after the telegraph was invented the term 'grapevine telegraph' was coined - first recorded in a US dictionary in 1852. This distinguished the new direct 'down-the-wire' telegraph from the earlier method, which was likened to the coiling tendrils of a vine. It's clear that the allusion was to interactions amongst people who could be expected to be found amongst grapevines, i.e. the rural poor.

In 1876, The Reno Evening Gazette ran an article about a bumper corn and grape crop. They commented on the fact that the people who were then called Indians and Negroes seemed to be already aware of it (hardly a surprise you might think as it would have been they who had harvested the crops):

"It would seem that the Indians have some mysterious means of conveying the news, like the famous grapevine telegraph of the negroes in the [American Civil] war. The Pioneer Press and Tribune says that, while the first telegraphic news of Custer's death reached them at midnight, the Indians loafing about town were inquiring about it at noon."

The term 'bush telegraph' originated in Australia, probably influenced by 'grapevine telegraph'. That referred to the informal network that passed information about police movements to convicts who were hiding in the bush. It was recorded in 1878 by an Australian author called Morris:

"The police are baffled by the number and activity of the bush telegraphs."

In the UK it was the 'jungle telegraph' - referring to communications in outposts of the British Empire around the same period.

Of course 'heard it through the grapevine' is best known to us as the Motown song, recorded by Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1967 and by Marvin Gaye in 1968. It's salutary that, whilst the telegraph is long gone, the person-to-person communication that preceded it is still going strong.
(Source of grapevine - http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/heard-it-through-the-grapevine.html )


the inner space said...

伸張正義須於人前 格殺拉登難言氣壯



奧巴馬在擊斃拉登當天的全國電視講話,用上了justice has been done(正義得到伸張)這句話。然而,哈佛大學法學院出身的奧巴馬,忘記了還有一句更加廣為使用的justice must be seen to be done(正義必須在眾人前得到伸張)。美國自詡以法治國,更因此成為西方價值的其中一個主要成分,是向全球灌輸美式民主和政治理念的主要載具。事實上,10年前的9‧11事件以還,美國一直以傷者角色出現國際舞台,2003年底美軍在伊拉克生擒伊拉克前總統薩達姆後,也是通過伊拉克當地的司法程序判處薩達姆死刑。儘管誰都知道那是一場政治秀,但好歹也讓薩達姆在犯人檻內自辯過一陣子;但作為一場戲,還是得把它演完,比這次粗糙馬虎的拉登秀認真得多。

拉登秀粗糙馬虎 難讓人心服口服



天掉下來黃金機會 美國當局一手糟蹋

my lai incident &
operation red wings

Haricot 微豆 said...


Thank you for the detailed info. I read it all.

I think Prez Bush wanted to make a big deal out of the Iraq War, including the trial and execution of 薩達姆, while Prez Obama preferred not to stir things up with the covert operation in Pakistan territory.

Also,薩達姆 was the head of a country, while 拉登 was not, which could mean a court trial might not be necessary.

> .... 拉登如此喪命,使得反恐10年間的努力,幾乎全然白費。

Are you kidding? If the efforts had been all "wasted", then we would not have had all these tight security measures at airports around the world.

History will tell whether Prez Obama has done the right things, or not.

Haricot 微豆 said...

note to myself: Sept 11 2011 coming soon !!!

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