Andy Bull: http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/1598
“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.”
“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.”
Ways it can work
• Live tweeting
• Live blogging
• Curation e.g. using Storify
Multple tools and ways to do it
• WordPress plugin
• Everybit, Storify et al
• Snapchat Stories
• Live Tweet
• Video stream e.g. Periscope
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
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.
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
Benefits for publishers
• Community engagement
• Time saving
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
"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
“…the name, live blogging, does not helpfully
describe the format and suggests triviality."
Matt Well, Blogs Editor, The Guardian
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
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.
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.
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.
“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: http://ijnet.org/en/blog/cover-it-live-20-tips-reporting-scene
And… that quality matters
in a live environment
For an example of when it went wrong see:
• 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.
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.
Libya and Middle East unrest: The Guardian
Coverage for Friday 25th March 2011:
Rebel fighters burn
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
Journalism.co.uk that the idea had resulted
in "really compelling content".
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
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.
• 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 Guardian.co.uk. Digital Journalism, 1(1), pp. 82-
101. doi: 10.1080/21670811.2012.714935 – also at:
• Tips for conference bloggers: Bruno Giussani www.LunchOverIP.com
Ethan Zuckerman www.EthanZuckerman.com/blog via
• How The Telegraph liveblog historical anniversaries:
liveblog-historical-anniversaries/ - see also:
• Suggestions (but not standards) for live tweeting:
standards-for-live-tweeting/ (be sure to read the comments too)
• How to liveblog a TV debate:
• 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.
• 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!
Or visit me in
201 Allen Hall