Digital Journalism

Live Blogging

What is Live Blogging?

Examples of Live Blogging:

Example of BBC’s Live Blog

Advantages:

  • Instantaneous
  • Tells an unfolding story as it happens
  • Enables journalists to link to other coverage whether broadcast, online or social media
  • Audiences can respond in comments – and journalists can respond back!

Disadvantages:

  • No ”inverted pyramid”
  • If there is no defined timescale, live blogs can get very long
  • Difficult to corroborate information

Choosing an event:

When reporting live it helps to:

  • Have a clear beginning, middle and end
  • Have an event with a clear time scale
  • Make sure your equipment will work and that you’ll have access to it
  • Don’t be too ambitious the first time

Plan Ahead:

  • Research the event you are covering
  • Choose your sources. they can be organisers or participants. arrange to speak ti them.
  • Follow key people on Twitter, Instagram and other social media – so you can reblog/tweet
  • Record interviews
  • Take photos in advance
  • Gather all data into a place where its easy to find (tools like Dropbox and iCloud come in handy here)
  • Test your equipment and connectivity (is there signal on your phone/Wifi? hotspots you can use?)

Equipment:

  • Smart phone
  • Camera
  • Tablet

Potentially:

  • Laptop
  • Dictaphone
  • External mic
  • Headphones

Media:

Text –

The hardest thing to do on a smartphone is type… so your updates will need to be short, descriptive and tightly edited. give yourse;f a 50 word upper limit

Video:

your own video and clips from around the web

Audio:

Soundbites, interviews and so on

Photographs:

Again, your images and those of others

Tweets:

Other people’s insights into the unfolding events. Start or join a hashtag to pull in comments

Software:

Work well with Twitter:

  • Tweetbot
  • Moniter
  • The Archivist
  • Dropbox
  • Tumblebee

Live Blogging Services:

So there you have it! A (very) rough guide on how to stage your own live blogging session.

Karl’s words of wisdom: ”To plan a live blog is to avoid disaster”

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