Japan's Asahi Shimbun Scores Social Media Goal, Tweets Soccer Play By Play

On the go and eager to know the score in that crucial soccer clash? Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper has the answer: tweeting the play by play to fan followers via their new Twitter account!

Big deal, some say, radio has been broadcasting sports events live for longer than most of US have BEEN alive. True enough, but among the young radio's a dying medium. Social media is new and cool - and now it's filling the gap left by radio's fall from favor.


It's a little ironic, perhaps, that one of the bastions of Old Media is diving head first into the new and unfamiliar (to them) sea of New Media. The Asahi Shimbun is Japan's second-largest newspaper by circulation and one of its oldest - it put out its first issue on January 25 of 1879.

For this 130-year-old media dinosaur to set up a Twitter account at all is nearly unbelievable yet that's exactly what they've done: @asahi boasts 5,480 followers and yesterday launched what an Asiajin correspondent refers to as "an experimental trial... investigating how much it impresses an audience and the paper’s subscribers."

The subject of the trial was the highly anticipated preliminary qualifying game between Japan and Qatar, played (to a 1-1 draw) on June 10 at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama. The match was part of the run-up to the FIFA World Cup event set to take place in South Africa next year. An intrepid Asahi reporter (who may have felt decidedly out of his element) was at the stadium sending regular tweets on the progress of the match.

It's not known yet how impressed both the public and Asahi's management were with the sporting tweet-by-tweet but it may not matter - the tide is turning away from traditional sources of information such as radio and newspapers toward social and news media vectors like Twitter.

The good ship Asahi Shimbun will have to move with the tide or risk being swamped - and that's one "goal" this venerable nes & information giant had better score! (via Asiajin, soccer match image via Javno)