SINGAPORE (June 4): On  Feb 13  last year, the half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was killed in an airport in Malaysia, in what the US Department of State concluded was an assassination using a nerve agent. As North Korea and Malaysia were roiled in a diplomatic dispute, one entrepreneur in Japan and his budding news service were about to reap some attention.

News of Kim Jong-nam’s death was quickly picked up in Japan, not by one of the country’s giant media conglomerates, but by a small startup. JX Press Corp, a news technology venture founded in 2008 by Katsuhiro Yoneshige while he was still a freshman in college, reported the incident more than half an hour faster than the big names, according to one observer. It did so even though it has no journalists, let alone any international bureaus.

“NewsDigest got the scoop at 7.52pm, and TV stations had it about 8.30pm,” sociologist Noritoshi Furuichi wrote on Twitter after reports of Kim’s death. “Television has succumbed to being a slow media.”

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