The last seven days will always be remembered for the bombings that killed three spectators of the Boston marathon, wounded scores more and brought the city to a standstill, prompting messages of compassion from around the globe. An intense manhunt followed the attack and resulted in one of the perpetrators being captured and the other dead. As the chaos unfolded, the world watched.
Coverage of these events will dominate this week’s Spotlight as we run through the best real-time reporting from last week.
- Boston marathon and bombings from Boston.com
The Boston.com editorial team demonstrated incredible dexterity as the world’s eyes fell on their city for all the wrong reasons. Having prepared for the sporting event for some time (including by putting it in the Syndication Marketplace), they had to quickly change direction in order to report on the horrendous aftermath of the bombs. It was utter chaos. Pulling in tweets from official channels and eye witnesses, and combining it with their own reporting, they were able to piece together all the elements of the story that were available. As well as reporting the event, they also provided a platform for local residents to help stranded runners find a place to stay for the night. It was journalism boiled down to its essence: a service to the community.
Using the Syndication Marketplace, their coverage reached a network of media organisations around the world, crossing borders and language barriers. Having picked up the content, Italian daily La Stampa, posted a note of thanks on the top of their liveblog: “Thanks to the colleagues and citizen journalists of Boston.com for their live updates syndicated here.” It’s a sentiment that will be echoed by everyone who was kept informed during the madness of April 15.
- Watertown manhunt by Reuters
Just days after the bombing, the terrible story became surreal as a suburban Boston neighbourhood turned into a conflict zone. Reuters was there to report authoritatively on the transformation. Even in the midst of a rapidly changing breaking news story, they were able to update their liveblog with paragraphs of text showing definitively that real-time reporting doesn’t have to be confined to 140 characters. The quality of their images and their ability to curate the best information from the internet ensured that readers were glued to their screens.
- The funeral of Margaret Thatcher by Press Association (syndicated to MSN)
Last Wednesday, the UK politician who divided opinion more than any other was finally laid to rest. Her funeral, in a fitting tribute to the woman herself, sparked much debate and shut down the centre of Britain’s capital. The Press Association’s coverage kept a watchful eye over proceedings and provided a steady flow of images, videos and analysis.
- Dérapages second screen by TVA
This is a great example of what happens when media organisations provide a forum for their readers to discuss on their site rather than pushing them out to Facebook fanpages. It’s pages and pages of intelligent, impassioned debate. While they were screening Dérapages, a film about young people involved in road traffic accidents, TVA invited their audience to leave comments and share their own experiences. What followed was a lively discussion by people who had been personally affected by accidents, others with very strong opinions on the subject and viewers who had been affected by the film. “This film should be seen by everyone… A thousand congratulations…” one commenter wrote, and that’s precisely the sort of content you should have on your own pages.
- Marriage Equality Vote by New Zealand Herald
Last Thursday, New Zealand became the 13th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage, and as you can tell from the above photo, some people were pretty happy about it. MPs were debating the third reading of the bill and the New Zealand Herald decided to cover the event in real-time. Before the reading, they were publishing a cross-section of reader comments on both sides of the debate, and when the bill was finally passed, the supporters became more vociferous and used the liveblog to share their emotions on the Herald’s pages: “To my beautiful wife to be … I am the happiest woman alive : ) I love you!”