The art of live blogging // week 3

In case you missed the ever-present memo, the journalism industry is changing.

It no longer revolves solely around news stories and the inverted pyramid. With the evolution of journalism comes the art of live blogging. Live blogging allows for continuous updates on a current event to be published in the one place for an audience.

In a QUT online journalism lecture, Fairfax Queensland political editor Amy Remeikis said any topic now is open for a live blog. If this means I can  give a running commentary on every episode of The Bachelor Australia and call it work then I’m totally on board.

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Amy says the key to live blogging is to keep your readers updated every 15 – 20 mins at MAX. This ensures they stay interested in the content and don’t click off the page. You want to keep readers on your site for as long as possible because that’s what drives advertisements and keeps you in a job. As fun as live blogging seems, having cash money to pay the bills is better, so maybe write that tip down.

Amy’s live-blogging nuggets of wisdom:

For any potential future live-bloggers out there, here are some tips to follow.

  1. Don’t talk down to your readers! “Journalists often make this mistake,” says Amy. “We know now this doesn’t work.” It’s all about a real time conversation with your readers.
  2. Provide context. “Context is key in digital journalism,” says Amy. “If you can tell the reader why the information is important to them today, you have already lured them in.”
  3. Don’t assume. “It makes it easy to make mistakes if you haven’t considered that maybe your readers haven’t read anything about the topic yet,” says Amy. Add a quick summary to ensure readers know the important aspects of the story.
  4. Time code. If you’re recording the event in any capacity make sure to write down the specific time an important detail happened. You don’t want to have to listen to 4 hours of recordings just to find that one great quote you couldn’t quite remember. “Time coding saves me every single time,” says Amy.
  5. Be aware of your bias. “We write through our own perspective and people read through their own perspective,” says Amy. You need to be aware of your bias in order to counteract it. Despite the truckload of changes, journalism is still about giving a fair and balanced account.

Live blogging is fast becoming the norm for news reporting. Here are some tweets from journalists and news organisations promoting their live blogs on a range of topics.

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Slate live blogging “the Trump implosion” otherwise known as the second US Presidential Debate. Source: Twitter.

 

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New York Times writer Sarah Lyall promoting a Rio Olympics live blog. Source: Twitter
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Source: Twitter

So now you have these tips, what are you waiting for?

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