Amy Remeikis, Brisbane Times Queensland Political editor, lectured QUT Online Journalism students this morning wearing a Care Bears jumper. Definitely was not what I thought someone in her position would be wearing at 9am on a Monday.
Amy spoke to us about live blogging, and her recent experiences of having to live blog the Queensland Budget Estimates Hearings. The hearings all sound fairly prolonged and torturous, but Amy would try to liven up her live blogs with some witty descriptions and jokes.
Or photos like this.
She reinforced how useful live blogging can be during rolling coverage, citing the not-too distant example of an armed gunman in the Queen Street Mall, and the rolling coverage of the Sydney. A brief outline of the situation followed by constant updates means readers can get the most up-to-date information, but are still able to scroll back through the posts.
A good example of different types of live blogging is throughout the 2016 Federal Election in Australia. The ABC is a good benchmark for how to live blog, fulfilling many of the key criteria for a good live blog.
The blog is simple and scrolling through readers will find the information appearing in reverse chronological order, with the most recent information at the top. There is a brief description of the current situation in the election (at this point, it was a close count). The ‘Quick Slice’ segment allows readers to go to the most pertinent links – the actual counting of the votes, predictions from prominent ABC election analyst Antony Green, calls claiming victory from both sides, and a story about the defeat of LNP MP Wyatt Roy. Links to the actual count and predictions from Green sit close to the top, allowing readers to head to the most up to date information first.
Each post is time stamped at the bottom of each post, making it very obvious to the reader when the story was posted into the blog.
The Australian employs a similar style of live blog, albeit with a style much closer to that of the newspaper and it’s website. With obvious time stamps, brief descriptions and links to other articles, the blog is possibly not as interactive as the ABC’s, but nonetheless conveys the most important information in an efficient manner.
Live blogging is definitely a must have tool for newsrooms nowadays when covering evolving situations. When done well, it can be an excellent source of information for readers, regardless of the point at which they become immersed in the story.
Cover Photo: Amy Remeikis Twitter