Intro to Live Blogging

Live blogging is “a blog or a single post on a blog that contains real-time updates that are posted during and in response to a particular event. On a live blog, the blogger posts brief updates that contain observations or opinions that give readers a feel for the atmosphere or response to an event.”

Read about live blogging in the book JournalismNext (p. 125- 126 in green edition, p. 132 – 134 in blue edition).

Live blogging is used to cover almost any event that reporters used to have at least a few hours to report, but now they have to do it on the fly as the event happens. Reporters often have to live blog an event and then write a follow-up story after. In this case, live blogging is like a public form of note taking.

Some research has found that live blogs can outperform other online news formats by as much as 300%

It consists of:
-Real-time coverage
-Short posts
-Time stamp in reverse chronological order
-Text, photos, video, polls and audience interaction

Examples:

NPR live blogs State of the Union address

NJ.com live blogging the New Jersey governor’s debate

ABC News live blogs March Madness

Philly.com live blogs NFL free agency

Inquirer reporter live tweets school board meeting

-The Oscars live-blogs their own awards show (because just broadcasting it isn’t enough)

Gizmodo covers a range of tech products


Tools and Technology:

There are a lot of ways to do it. You can use a mobile phone. You can use a laptop. You can do it as single blog post that you update with your own time stamps. You can use Twitter and a create a hashtag for the event. There are also software platforms built specifically for live blogging like CoveritLive, a free, web-based live blogging tool. You can also embed CoverItLive into your WordPress.com blog.

In-class assignment:
Sign Up for a CoverItLive account

1. Click on the “Get Started for Free” button.

2. Fill in the CoverItLive Registration.

3. Log in to the email account you gave in registration. You should have an email from CoverItLive. If you don’t see it, look in your junk email box.

4. With the link in the email, log into CoverItLive.

5. The first time you login you may be prompted to make a product selection.  Sign up for CoveritLive Basic.

6. When you get to the My Account page, click on the Add New Event.

Look for the message that reads:

 Try an EventStudio Practice Session – EventStudio is the powerful new interface for managing your live events. If you’re not using EventStudio then you’re missing out on the latest features, including new Twitter options, Live Scoreboards, and enhanced social and moderation tools. A practice session is a great way to try out all of the latest features without anyone watching. Try it Now!

Click on the “Try an EventStudio Practice Session” link.

7. Orient yourself to the software.

Here are a few tips for live blogging:
-In your first few entries, make sure to include the 5 Ws of the event (who, what, where, when, why).

-Write a sentence or two and hit send rather than writing a long paragraph.

-You can’t cover everything word for word, so listen and watch for key moments, quotes, facts. Look for what is newsworthy.

-Know how to spell key names and have some key facts ahead of time. A cheat sheet of notes or some text that you write ahead of time can help.

-Don’t assume your readers are watching the same thing you are. You have to fill in the gaps. You have to describe what is happening.

-Focus on being clear, concise, and informative. But also make it lively.

Practice Examples:

1. President Obama Speaks at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

Here is a transcript of the speech

 2. Women’s World Cup Final, 1999. USA vs. China

The 1999 Women’s World Cup is being played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. The game is tied and will be decided by penalty shoot out. Each team gets five shots, one-on-one against the goal keeper. (Start video at 6:00)

U.S. Players to note in your live blog:
-Brianna Scurry, goal keeper
-Carla Overbeck, 1st U.S. player to take penalty kick
-Joy Faucett, 2nd U.S. player to take penalty kick
-Kristine Lilly, 3rd U.S. player to take penalty kick
-Mia Hamm, 4th U.S. player to take penalty kick
-Brandi Chastain, 5th U.S. player to take penalty kick

3. 2014 Golden Globes Opening Monologue by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

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