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Commentary

Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Lack of the right information is the real problem online

In the information age where social media and traditional media compete to be first past the post with information, everyone, from newsmakers to media to consumers, has to acknowledge there is a tradeoff between accuracy and speed. 

Published on Mar 9, 2014 5:16 PM
 
Malaysia Airlines representatives speak at a news conference about information on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a hotel in Beijing on March 9, 2014. One of the great ironies of the information age is learning to deal with information scarcity amid the white noise of information overload. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

One of the great ironies of the information age is learning to deal with information scarcity amid the white noise of information overload.

As the saga of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 unfolded in the past 36 hours, that was one of the things that stood out as both mainstream and online media offered blanket coverage about the incident.

The beleaguered MAS has come under fire for its slow response to its plane going missing over the South China Sea.
There has been enough information, or rather lack thereof, in the long hours following the first news break to make it evident that the airline had little idea of what happened to MH370 in the immediate hours after contact had been lost.

Accustomed as we all are now to blanket media coverage of any breaking news event, the one thing we have not learnt to cope with is the lack of information.

 
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