What have I learned from liveblogging?

Liveblogs in this day and age is an art form for journalists to master, and reflecting on my experiences thus far in my MED5079: Live Newsroom module, it’s fair to say that liveblogging has been a very enjoyable experience for me. However, there have been a few hiccups along the way with experimenting different areas for liveblogging, so how has this developed my journalism style?

Research, research and more research!

My journalism lecturers always tell me about this one tip and that is research! If you don’t do any research for a liveblog, chances are it might not end up being as good as you want it to be, meaning the follow-up stories can be quite weak or biased, depending on the subject matter.

I realised this when I did a liveblog for the Robert Perry “Sunlight!” exhibition, where a straight news story would have fitted the angle better than a liveblog. However, it gave me great experience for future liveblogging opportunities, which I’m learning from my past liveblogs.

The key is to make a place to store all your links onto one website, as well as have a couple of pages of notes, which means if you’re struggling to get on one site from somewhere like Delicious for example, it means you have something to fall on if the internet decides to crash.

If you’re looking for liveblog tips, then here’s something Paul Bradshaw has done for the Online Journalism blog.

Speed, accuracy and timing

This is an area where I’m still learning about from my past live tweeting experiences. Speed, accuracy and timing are still areas I’m working in for liveblogging meetings and events.

As a journalist, its always important to be accurate in what you’re trying to tweet about, meaning having the correct spelling and grammar for a tweet is something I find essential because it makes the coverage professional, as well as credible. Maybe its just because I’m a perfectionist, I don’t really know!

Also, having the correct links and timing is key in a liveblog, you want to be informing your audience what’s going on, whilst the audience are engaging in the meeting. That’s equally as great because the more the audience and producers engage with the liveblog, the more successful it’s going to be.

What have I learned from my past liveblogs?

Throughout Live Newsroom, I have learned so much about liveblogging that has helped push myself further in my development as a professional journalist. But this hasn’t been easy.

I did three liveblogs, one with Lee Salter and the rest with the Library of Birmingham protest and Robert Perry exhibition, the one thing I’ve learnt is if it’s not worth liveblogging, just don’t do it. There were times where I thought that I should have never liveblogged this meeting or event, but it’s all part of the learning process.

I always say “You’re as good as your last liveblog”.

If there’s one thing liveblogging has taught me and that’s the fact that engagement and trying to capture the atmosphere with audience participation is key to making a liveblog work well. Don’t just delete the tweets everyone else does because it loses some value of the coverage. Try to let the audience engage with you to make the liveblog work well.

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