Saturday, June 2, 2012


BBC News Budget Live Coverage

The BBC, Le Figaro newspaper and AFP news agency are experimenting with online coverage and live blogging and realizing their potential in covering news. In a recent article from the senior editors from the above news sources share how liveblogging can enhance the newsrooms coverage and encourage more interaction with new stories, leading to greater insight on the news reported. All three editors spoke of the added value to the news stories through liveblogging because the readers are more able to comment, tweet, and share, taking part in the feedback loop, instead of merely reading or hearing news from a televised or published source. Kate Fairhurst, international vice-president of ScribbleLive, a live blog platform explained that presenting news through liveblogging is not only changing the ways in which people are receiving and interacting with their news but it is also changing the way news is reported in an innovative way.

Mary Hockaday, head of the BBC newsroom explains that they have only been using live online coverage for the past year and are seeing their audience grow greatly sense using it and their experiences with liveblogging have developed even further recently; it's potential continues to grow. "Unlike many of the BBC's online news stories, the liveblogs carry an author's byline, emphasizing that they are authored, curated, "journalistic products". The blogs pull in tweets, emails and links to other news providers' coverage where appropriate."(Paul McNally)

The BBC has discovered what blogging styles work best for their specific audiences. Hockaday explained that in terms of writing style; a clear straight-forward presentation is better reciprocated, rather than the more informal chit chat style. They have tasked their most clear and precise communicators for this job. Another strategy they have found to be beneficial with liveblogging is having a "clearly defined single subject" They have found that instead of trying to cover every news story through liveblog they only cover their big stories because it caters to a broader audience which leads to greater participation and interaction through the news coverage. To add greater value to their stories on liveblog they began to incorporate visual journalism into their stories as well.

The Le Figaro newspaper is also seeing beneficial results from liveblogging. Editor - in -chief Ingrid Vergara claims that it has helped their newsroom "Live blogging is a very powerful editorial tool and allows you to bring together all the resources of a newsroom - desk editors, info graphics - all sorts of people."(Paul McNally) They are still experimenting with Liveblogging and trying to cater it to best suit their newspaper but what they have found is that adding context and analysis to their liveblogging is a crucial element. An example Vergara gave was of the presidential election TV debate "it was clear that many readers would be watching the television while following the blog, so repeating what was said verbatim was not the best approach."(Paul McNally) They found that it was not beneficial to simply repeat what was said on the television but instead add extra context and analysis to help people further understand.

The news agency - AFP is also incorporating Liveblogging into their news reporting. They began liveblogging in 2008 while covering the US presidential elections. AFP claims that one of the advantages of this newer form of news reporting is that " allows media groups to make full use of all of their correspondents' time and not waste any incoming material."(Paul McNally)

Prior to liveblogging they had many journalists gathering information and much of that information did not get published because there was too much to fit into print. One of AFP's goals is to cut down the time it takes to deliver a news story and this can be achieved by incorporating liveblogging into the main newswire. AFP agreed with BBC's Mary Hockaday that it is crucial to provide analysis and context when covering a story, but AFP also explains that preparation is an extremely important element. Hollier-Larousse from AFP explains that in order to properly cover a live story a reporter must already be familiar with the context "You have to know if it is really a breaking event or just some event that will have no tomorrow."(Paul McNally)

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