COUNTY KILDARE, IRELAND, NOVEMBER 1998: An innovative internet news service for Kildare people at home and abroad went on-line on the County Kildare Community Network during November. KNN-KildareNet News is produced by Naas-based company Telling Tales Ltd and provides county-wide news in picture, text and audio format, making it a true audiovisual news operation. Those behind the enterprise are journalists Brian Byrne from Kilcullen and Trish Whelan from Naas, who between them have more than 25 years' experience in print and broadcast journalism.
"We're not competing with other local media," says Trish, who is also the freelance Naas Correspondent for the Kildare Nationalist and spent four years in local radio. "We're just adding an additional layer, one which has the advantage of being accessible world-wide for the many people of Kildare extraction who like to keep up with what's happening at home. But it IS also aimed at the fast-growing number of people in the county itself who are using their computers to access information and news."
Brian believes that this is the year when the internet achieves 'critical mass' in Ireland, and that users will be starting to take for granted the uses other than word-processing that computers offer. "If you think about it, we're seeing a new generation of computer buyers who are 'preprogrammed' for the internet, because their computers are coming already equipped with the software and audiovisual hardware needed to make the most of the 'information highway' medium. In addition, youngsters are coming home from school with the experience of the internet and showing their parents just how useful it is."
KNN is not just in the business of providing straight news, but also is developing as a 'portal' for other information. Already there is a comprehensive motoring news link and a link to Farm.ie, the Carbury-based agriculture information site managed by local man Brendan Bourke. There is also a 'Garda Patrol' where a weekly update brings information of local crimes, recovered property, and security advice.
"We have a number of other significant plans, which I think are quite exciting uses of this new technology," says Brian, who worked as a news broadcaster with RTE for nine years and was associated with CKR for more than three. "We're particularly interested in the uses of the internet for broadcasting, and that's why we have quite a lot of audio material on the KNN site. Indeed, using the latest in communications technology we can have pictures, text and audio up on the site within minutes of being at a news function."
So, watch this (cyber)space, at http://kildare.ie/knn
KNN - KildareNet News is produced by Telling Tales Ltd, PO Box 106, Naas, Co Kildare. Phone +353 (0)45 481090; Fax +353 (0)45 481091; Email firstname.lastname@example.org