This Spotlight series was created to showcase the exciting diversity of real-time content that is produced within our network. We like to demonstrate that working in real-time is something that can be used to cover a wide range of topics by anyone: from the-man-with-his-iPhone to multinational press agencies. This week we’ve got a particularly interesting assortment of events, from finger-licking cross-country odysseys to fascist (and anti-fascist) protests.
- May Day Protests by Rbb
Labour Day (or May Day as it is sometimes known) is synonymous with workers marching for their rights around the world. And in a Europe crippled by austerity, this year’s protests were bigger than most. In Germany, the event often grabs headlines for other reasons, as Neo-Nazis try to hijack May 1st to spread their own message. Their often small marches are met by more vociferous anti-fascist protests (see above), and this year’s Berlin event was captured brilliantly by the team of local reporters at Rbb. Protests are generally good subjects for real-time content as there is always a lot of visual stimuli, but Rbb’s smart mix of images, videos and audio files captures the mood particularly well. Vive Multikulti!
- Austin BBQ tour by Dallas News
Before I begin, a quick caveat: I’m a sucker for tours, trips, voyages or pretty much any recreational displacement covered in real-time. If you’re a big news organisation, these quirky events are a great way to show a more personal side of your newsroom while allowing your readers to ‘bond’ with your journalists.
This is a very cool example of a great real-time format, as we get to follow the BBQ Posse travel across Texas searching for the best barbecue in the land. By bringing together photos, tweets and original commentary, they’re enabling their readers to travel with them. What’s even better is that they ran a Q and A within the ongoing event and sparked discussions about favourite restaurants, cuts of meat, etc… Do their readers appreciate it? “Thank you guys! I’ve really come to love your insight and opinions! Not to mention the juicy pictures!” Yes they did.
- Chat about Dreamtown Finder from Boston.com
Just because you don’t have some hot-shot movie star or sportsman in your newsroom, doesn’t mean you can’t run a Q and A. If one of your staff has written a particularly good article, produced a stirring photo essay or created an amazing app, organize a Q and A with them.
That’s what Boston.com did with the creators of their Dreamtown Finder, an app which recommends places to live in Massachusetts to people, depending on data they’ve entered. This sort of event is a fantastic way to further promote your content while giving your readers some behind-the-scenes insight into your newsroom.
- Humanitarianism in the network age by Thomson Reuters Foundation
It can sometimes be a headache getting all the right people together in one room, but if you’re running a Q and A with ScribbleLive, that’s no longer a problem. For their live chat about humanitarianism in the digital age, this publication had 5 experts and a moderator all contributing simultaneously from various offices around the world. Vsevolod Makhov, head of Red Cross Emergency Humanitarian Center in Ekaterinburg, Russia was featured, so was Jacob from Souktel.org in Palestine and Kate from the IFRC in Southeast Asia.
Once everyone had taken their virtual seats, the discussion began. And an interesting discussion it was too, one that flowed nicely and was easy for readers to follow. As it wrapped up, there were “great discussion” and “thank you”s all round. “Well done the organisers, thanks to all” about sums up the tone.
- Charity ice hockey game for Alzheimer’s
This is a fantastic example of how close to sporting action you can feel when following ScribbleLive coverage, whether it’s a fundraising event or a championship game. The writer has made great use of the video-recording function, creating instantly accessible clips of interviews of players and the ice-hockey action. In seconds you can record and upload a video to the event — there’s no better way to get your audience close to the action — so close you can almost smell the sweat.