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Live Blogging


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Tips and Case Studies shared with students for the Reporting II class at the School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon, 5 Oct 2014

Published in: News & Politics

Live Blogging

  1. 1. Live Blogging Damian Radcliffe @damianradcliffe 5th October 2015
  2. 2. This week…. Live reporting/blogging
  3. 3. Definitions Andy Bull: “I see live blogging as more of a curatorial task – one done by a journalist at a desk, tapping in to a wide range of sources for a story. Live reporting denotes to me that a journalist is on the ground, filing text, stills and perhaps audio and video, where possible, from the location of a developing story.”
  4. 4. Definitions (cont) “Often the two come together – and you get one or more reporters out in the field, and one or more editors or curators putting a live blog together from their output, and that of others. These livesifting a wide range of potentially curatable content from official sources bloggers will be, other media outlets, eye-witnesses and those using social media – Twitter, Facebook and the rest – to add their coverage and comment on a story.”
  5. 5. Ways it can work • Live tweeting • Live blogging • Curation e.g. using Storify • Periscope
  6. 6. Multple tools and ways to do it • WordPress plugin • Tumblr • Everybit, Storify et al • Snapchat Stories • Live Tweet • Video stream e.g. Periscope • CoverItLive
  7. 7. Why do it? (1) “It's a form that's charming in its directness; at its best it generally does away with any writerly conceits, and demands the author just get on with telling you what's just happened." Neil McIntosh, the online editor of the Wall Street Journal Europe
  8. 8. Why do it? (2) TheStreet’s technology editor Chris Ciaccia said he enjoys live blogging for two primary reasons. First, live blogs allow him to get commentary and analysis out in real time without having to go through editors or updating a time stamp. And second, he believes live blogs are an easier format to read once the event has ended, particularly for readers who only want a snippet of the day’s news.
  9. 9. Why do it? (3) "It feels like a type of news reporting that is emerging as being native to the web. Most video news on the internet is essentially the same kind of package that you'd produce for TV, most audio the same as you'd produce for radio, and most text-based news could be printed out. The emerging live blog style isn't any of those things." Martin Belam, ex BBC, Guardian and Trinity Mirror
  10. 10. Benefits for publishers • Immediacy • Storytelling • Community engagement • Interactivity • Time saving
  11. 11. Potential Pitfalls (1) • Doesn’t work for every story • e.g. those w/o defined timescale/purpose • Needs a big enough audience/topic to get engagement • Curating and managing a busy story can be challenging
  12. 12. Pitfalls (2) "You are more or less providing readers with raw material rather than telling them a story. You also tend to get swept up in the rush of events, and don't have nearly as much time as you'd like to think about what's happening and make connections, or write any sort of news analysis." Robert Mackay, New York Times
  13. 13. Pitfalls (3) “…the name, live blogging, does not helpfully describe the format and suggests triviality." Matt Well, Blogs Editor, The Guardian
  14. 14. Key things to know and do
  15. 15. Reaction and reflection – opportunities • Live events – press conferences, announcements, panels • Sport – play-by-play • Events – festivals, protests, concerts • TV – scene-by-scene • Curation – what the internet is saying on a trending topic
  16. 16. Pre-event prep Do your homework, just as you would for any assignment! • Research speakers beforehand (program notes, press release etc.) • Identify videos, pics etc. to embed at the right time. • This can include your own interviews with speakers and attendees. • Make sure your kit is fully charged.
  17. 17. Source:
  18. 18. When you start • Set the scene. Don’t forget the 5 Ws: Who are you, What are you covering, Why are you covering it, Where are you (are you there, watching from home etc.) When is this happening? * You can do much of this before the event starts to tee up readers.
  19. 19. What you do throughout • Describe what you see, hear, feel. • Find and add links/context. • Embed photos, video, tweets, graphics, charts, maps etc. • Ask questions of your audience, curate comments/feedback.
  20. 20. Remember “You’re not providing a transcript of a meeting or a log of every play in a game. You’re reporting. Use news judgment. Provide description, explanation and analysis.” Steve Buttry:
  21. 21. And… that quality matters • Spelling • Attribution • Accuracy Even Especially in a live environment For an example of when it went wrong see: 79144/how-journalists-are-covering-todays- scotus-health-care-ruling/
  22. 22. More widely • Link to other sources – boosts traffic and SEO. • Use keywords for SEO and the right #tags. • Engage with others and make them aware of what you’re doing – online and/or in person (e.g. photograph people and ask for quotes). • Embed your pre-prepared material in relevant places. • Embed material from others.
  23. 23. And don’t forget to use social • Not just to source, but also share what you’re doing. • Post and link on Facebook, Twitter et al. • Use #tags to encourage people to continue the conversation. • And to help other people to find you.
  24. 24. Ideas in action: 7 Case Studies
  25. 25. Republican Debate: The New York Times
  26. 26. Hajj Stampede: Reuters
  27. 27. Libya and Middle East unrest: The Guardian Coverage for Friday 25th March 2011: yemen-syria-bahrain-nato Rebel fighters burn uniforms of captured Gaddafi loyalists near Ajdabiyah Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
  28. 28. Egypt uprising: Al Jazeera To overcome the internet blackout and restrictions on its journalists, Al Jazeera was publishing audio messages from its correspondents in Egypt, powered by live- blogging platform ScribbleLive. ScribbleLive's Mark Walker told that the idea had resulted in "really compelling content". jazeera-still-battling-interference-in-egypt- after-internet-blackout-lifted/s2/a542597/
  29. 29. 2010 NFL Draft: ESPN ewaltcast/template=/altcast_code=29340e30f8/width=320/height=infi nite/entryLoc=top/mobileVersion=yes/titlePage=off/linkTo=http%253A
  30. 30. Sunderland vs. West Ham: BBC Sport
  31. 31. The Pope in NYC
  32. 32. Tips
  33. 33. Summary of key points • Use the event #tag • Alert your followers • Share valuable content • Interact with your followers • Engage with others commenting in this space • Share what they are doing and saying • Use multimedia – don’t just use text! • Provide a summary to wrap up your coverage
  34. 34. Further pro tips • Don’t just write / tweet for the sake of it. • Short regular updates work best. • Add links, photos, contributions from others. • Provide recaps for people joining part way through. • Your live blog can become your notes for a follow up story.
  35. 35. Further Reading • Thurman, N. & Walters, A. (2013). Live Blogging- Digital Journalism's Pivotal Platform? A case study of the production, consumption, and form of Live Blogs at Digital Journalism, 1(1), pp. 82- 101. doi: 10.1080/21670811.2012.714935 – also at: • Tips for conference bloggers: Bruno Giussani Ethan Zuckerman via gging_zuckerman-giussani_A4_color.pdf
  36. 36. • How The Telegraph liveblog historical anniversaries: liveblog-historical-anniversaries/ - see also: Battle-of-Britain-as-it-happened-on-September-15-1940-live.html • Suggestions (but not standards) for live tweeting: standards-for-live-tweeting/ (be sure to read the comments too) • How to liveblog a TV debate: debate/
  37. 37. Assignment
  38. 38. Task • Produce a Live Report / Blog. • Must report on it for minimum of one hour. • Subject – and platform - agreed with me in advance. • Submit by 23:59 12th October.
  39. 39. Other Tasks • Review and Edit the I Know What You Did Last Summer that was written about you. • Submit by 23:59 12th October. • Complete the events and contact spreadsheet. • Submit by 23:59 5th October. THAT’S TONIGHT!
  40. 40. Questions? Problems? Or visit me in 201 Allen Hall