Over at the CIPR's conversation I have been discussing the changing nature of the news cycle. In my remarks on the 'news stream' and how we should think about handling news, I mentioned that in some cases news now emerges in an almost self-organising way.
Steve Johnson has spent a lot of time writing about how self-organisation works. His book Emergence is a brilliant examination of how different species organise.
How is this process working for news? There are many social networks that can act as a catalyst for the creation of a news story. Right now, it is Twitter that has pride of place in the news generation business.
Stories are broken on Twitter before they reach national television. More importantly, as people re-tweet and share a story, agreement emerges on its significance. The story can be shaped on Twitter. Commentators can get quoted by the national media and journalists can source stories.
This form of emergence has implications for the media, communication professionals and the public. If it doesn't become the sole way to generate news, it is likely to be very important in the future. It could lead to a news agenda that reflects public interest instead of the media's.