More and more often, when news breaks, it breaks on Twitter. And Twitter without fail is a place to find immediate reaction to news stories around the world.
I noticed these trends when I founded Breaking Tweets, "World News, Twitter-Stlye," in late January. The site consists of editors who sift through hundreds of tweets daily to write articles based on recent news events. I've long thought the next logical step for Breaking Tweets is to experiment with a local market.
What better place than Chicago? Not only do I live here, but Chicago's the 3rd most popular city on Twitter, only behind Los Angeles (2) and London (1).
So when bigtime news breaks in Chicago, when a new political scandal hits, when a major storm roles in, or when the Cubs or Sox win in the bottom of the 9th, there's sure to be plenty of Twitter messages to choose from.
BT Chicago examines trends and top stories and also puts together features for more enterprise coverage. The motto, a spinoff of the world BT site is "Chicago News, Twitter-Style."
ChicagoNow is the perfect home for BT Chicago, not just because of its name but because of its emphasis - local news for Chicagoans, by Chicagoans, on a wide range of topics.
If a major breaking news stories happens in Chicago, one that captures national or even international attention, you can bet BT Chicago will be on it, collecting eyewitness accounts, context, compelling tweets, TwitPics and observations from Twitter users right here in Chicago.
If it is anything like Breaking Tweets, BT Chicago is destined for success. BT has gained its biggest attention yet for its extensive coverage of the Iran Elections two weeks ago and the controversy surrounding it since, posting daily updates based on Twitter reports. The Poynter Institute of Journalism has recognized BT's work covering Iran and just the other day, I learned that the Iranian government has taken note too, as BT was blocked in Iran.