When satellite communication was still the rule, it wasn't uncommon for urgent news releases to languish in a queue waiting to be sent.
Times have changed. Today, the companies that distribute corporate news and information are able to time the delivery of hundreds of press releases to the exact second.
"In the old days, when we relied on satellite communication, companies would give us their news and it would be queued up to move in a sequential order," explained Neil Hershberg, senior vice-president of Business Wire, a wholly owned subsidiary company of Berkshire Hathaway, which is controlled by Warren Buffett.
"With today's technology, we have the capability of distributing hundreds of releases timed to the split-second on a global basis, so if you're an investor interested in Nortel, you're getting the news at the exact split-second in Sydney, Australia, as they're getting it on Wall Street.
"The 'old days,' " Hershberg says dryly, "was prior to 2003, which is not exactly ancient history, but a long time ago where this technology is concerned. It's a whole different ball game today."
It is a tidal wave of information in a constant flow around the world, all fodder for whomever has a need for it.
Business Wire operates in more than 100 different languages and posts in 17 languages on its website. It files to Associated Press, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and the British Press Association.
"You name the major news wire or financial information platform, and we're on it," said Hershberg. "The purpose of many clients is to generate publicity and grab media attention. We're one of the early links on the food chain."
There have been suggestions that there is an information overload, but while it may be getting crowded on the information highway, the demand for news and information shows no sign of abating.Visit Share Investor Blog