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Live blogs out-performing other news formats
11/29/2012, 10:44 AM
By Spencer Kitley
City University London’s Department of Journalism’s newly published study on live blogging, explores what authors Dr. Neil Thurman and Anna Walters describe as the new default format for covering major breaking and scheduled news stories. Their research indicates that live blogs are garnering, “300-percent more views and 233-percent more visitors than conventional online news articles on the same subject.” Citing that their research subject, Guardian.co.uk’s live blogs, “out-perform online picture galleries, getting 219-percent more visitors.”
The article describes and analyzes the production, consumption and form of live blogs from its journalist interviews, reader surveys, analysis and study of web metrics.
Key notes from the research:
• “Live blogging combines conventional reporting with curation, where journalists sift and prioritize information from secondary sources and present it to the audience in close to real time, often incorporating their feedback.
• “Readers liked the neutral tone, the fact that information was corrected quickly and the balance that they believed was the mix of sources provided.” CoveritLive’s incorporation of Twitter content, reader comments and other social media make it easy to present multiple sides of a story, while CiL’s editorial abilities make it simple to edit or correct information that was previously published in a blog.
• Live blogs like CoveritLive contain, “multimedia elements, such as audio and video, as well as still images and hypertext links.”
• “Web metrics reveal that live blogs are accessed primarily during office hours with their popularity peaking at 11 a.m. They often out-perform other article types covering the same story.”
• The most-liked live blog feature by readers “was their timeliness, with 49-percent of survey respondents citing this as a positive feature.
• “The vast majority of readers did not express concern about the effect of these compressed deadlines on live blogs’ accuracy and balance.”
• “The tone of live blogs was the second-most ‘liked’ feature by reader survey respondents.”
• “Fifteen percent of survey respondents spontaneously praised the role of live blogging journalists as curators of information.” One of the hallmarks of the CoveritLive platform is the moderated, curated content experience that readers enjoy.
The full article, entitled: "Live Blogging – Digital Journalism’s Pivotal Platform? A case study of the production, consumption, and form of Live Blogs at Guardian.co.uk" is published on the Digital Journalism website. A pre-press version is available free of charge on the City University London website.
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