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. 132 – 134.
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.
It consists of:
-Time stamp in reverse chronological order
-Text, photos, video, polls, and audience interaction
-A local radio station in Colorado live blogs the President’s news conference
-SI.com live blogs a NBA basketball game
-TheStreet.com live blogs release of financial earnings by Cisco
Inquirer’s Chris Melchiorre live blogs the Council Rock South vs. Neshaminy football game
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.
Sign Up for a CoverItLive account
1. Click on the Sign Up/Login button. Under Sign In in upper right hand corner, click on Register.
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 will be prompted to make a product selection. Sign up for CoveritLive Basic.
6. When you get to the My Account page, click on the Practice tab. Then click on the Click here to practice link.
7. Orient yourself to the software.
On the left is your Media Library and other tools, where you can add audio, images, videos, links, text, etc. You can also connect it to your Twitter account so you can live blog from it.
In the middle top is the display screen. This is what your readers see. At the bottom is your text box. This is where you write and publish your posts. Type in a test message in the text book and hit send. You will see it publish and see the time stamp.
On the right hand side is where reader comments show up.
Now you are ready to begin.
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.
1. Mitt Romney’s Concession Speech at the Boston Convention Center. It began at 1:14 a.m. EST.
2. President Obama’s first press conference since his reelection. This took place on November 14 at the White House. Blog about the first 15 minutes.
3. Album of the Year at 2012 Grammy’s. Vying for the top award, album of the year, will be Adele (21), Foo Fighters (Wasting Light), Lady Gaga (Born This Way), Bruno Mars (Doo-Wops & Hooligans) and Rihanna (Loud).