Why the LDP liveblogged its newsroom

This post follows on from my thoughts the other day about creating a transparent newsroom.

Yesterday Alison Gow, deputy editor of the Liverpool Daily Post (LDP), gave a presentation to the Digital Editors’ Network with an assessment of the LDP’s “liveblogging the newsroom” day.

The slides for the presentation are below. Alison admits that there was an element of doing the liveblog “because we could”, but the site statistics (the liveblog generated 1,500 unique users) may suggest it is a feature some people are interested in engaging with.

I do, however, find myself agreeing with the comments following on from the former post that suggest this is something to do once every so often. A newspaper Open Day, perhaps?

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7 Responses to “Why the LDP liveblogged its newsroom”


  1. 1 tomfromthepost June 17, 2008 at 11:31 am

    What’s the opportunity cost of doing something like this?

  2. 2 joannageary June 17, 2008 at 11:50 am

    It’s a good question Tom and Alison is the only one who could answer that one fully.

    I believe it took a lot of time and dedication from Alison to get this off the ground and I am not sure it would be feasible for her to do it every day.

    I think there is a difficult balance for newspapers to strike. Of course the newspaper still has to come out – it does still pay the wages after all.

    Yet, at the same time, the pace of online innovation is rapid.
    If we only plough our limited resources into print then we are going to continue to lose ground and readers to web services and, eventually, the newspaper won’t pay our wages any longer.

  3. 3 Alison Gow June 17, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Tom. What does liveblogging the newspaper cost in terms of time and commitment? Well, for the blog producer (ie the person charged with superintending the posts, uploading etc) it is time intensive and I don’t think you can skimp on your involvement. The producer especially, and the others in the newsroom contributing, need to want to do it as well; if you’re not prepared to invest time and ensure the liveblog zips along with plenty of interaction, polls, videos etc then it’s not a ‘living’ operation, it’s an afterthought and your site visitors will soon realise that and leave. In terms of how much time reporters devoted on the day I’d refer you to the slide where Tony McDonough, our deputy business editor, answers a similar question from Joanna (yes, this Joanna!). Tony was workingo on the business supplement (which was preparing to go to print) but was also flipping back to the liveblog regularly – without any prompting I’d have to add. He fitted around his workload because he wanted to. I can only compare it to the feeling you get when you’re trying to finish a story for the splash and you’ve got about two minutes – it’s hectic but exciting.
    Jo’s right, we couldn’t do it every day, but we are considering running one a month in future. Hope that goes some way to answering your question.

  4. 4 tomfromthepost June 17, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Definitely, thanks!

    @jo being aware of the cost of doing this doesn’t mean ignoring the internet, it’s not an either/or choice, but there’s only finite man hours at an organisation and was interested to see what people thought the value of the benefit was compared to the effort put in.

  5. 5 Craig McGinty June 17, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I couldn’t resist putting my hand up after Alison’s talk to say that I thought the Post’s coverage of the Queen’s visit to Liverpool was very interesting and a great use of Cover It Live.

    http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/queens-visit/

    Personally I thought this was due to there being a beginning, a middle and an end.

    People were genuinely interested to find out where the Queen was going to be and the Cover It Live service allowed up to the minute reports of the growing excitement.

    Then it enabled people to ‘follow’ the Queen whilst in the area, finally people were able to offer up their own impressions of the visit and even ask for photographs taken by the Post.

    Using Cover It Live to blog about things such as Royal visit, festivals and music concerts shouldn’t take up too many extra resources as journalists are already covering the story and so it may only be a couple of extra clicks to post to the live blog as well.

  6. 6 joannageary June 17, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    @Alison Thanks for the response. Really interested to hear that LDP might try to do the liveblog on a more regular basis. I will be very closely watching how it goes, as always! 🙂

    @Tom I agree. That is what I was saying. It is a difficult balance to strike. I don’t have any answers and I think your question was a good one.


  1. 1 links for 2008-06-18 « David Black Trackback on June 18, 2008 at 2:38 am

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