ScribbleLive Spotlight: Belgian Abdication, a Frozen Journey and Korea

Last week, a train came off the tracks in the North of Spain in a tragedy that killed 79 people. Coverage of this and some really innovative uses of the platform make up this week’s ScribbleLive Spotlight.

  • Funeral for the victims of Santiago by Vocento (home page)

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Spain has been in mourning since last week’s deadly train crash in which 79 people died. The sombre mood across the country culminated in Monday’s mass in Santiago de Compostela. Vocento covered the event with the dignity and respect required for such a tragedy. Their feed provided a steady flow of images of people paying their respect to the victim as well as updates from the ceremony made for a fitting tribute.

  •  Frozen in Time: Recovery Mission by Boston.com

Frozen in Time  Recovery Mission

Mitchell Zuckoff, a professor of journalism at Boston University, recently published Frozen in Time, an historical book charting the search for WWII planes that crashed in Greenland in 1942. It tells the epic story of a struggle against the odds as survivors battled the elements to survive in the harshest conditions. So that’s the book…but what comes after? The real-time rescue. Zuckoff is accompanying the US military – determined to fulfil their promise to “leave no man behind” – as they  head to Greenland to recover the war heroes entombed in the ice. ‘Epic’ doesn’t do it justice. The live event began with paragraphs of context of the story, the book and the mission. Their journey began on Monday and readers will be able to follow events as they unfold day by day – it’s inspiring stuff. It’s a gripping story and, as an added bonus, a great way to promote a book. One commenter sums it up well:

Mr. Zuckoff, I feel like I’m still reading the book only the pages are coming a lot slower and the anticipation is grueling. Best of luck to you, Lou, Jim, Weegee, Jaana and the rest. Bring ’em home and God speed.

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It was an event that would ‘mark the Belgian population forever’ according to Belgian daily l’Avenir. This was the day that King Albert II abdicated after almost 20 years on the throne and was replaced as the head of the monarchy by his son Philippe. The momentous event warranted expert live coverage, and that’s what l’Avenir provided – using the app to record and upload videos directly to the event to capture the occasion for those who weren’t present. Their short, timely text updates kept the readers informed throughout, but it was possibly the images that stole the show: there were tears, uncertainty and, of course, happy families.

  • 60 Years on from the Korean War by DFM

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Important anniversaries have always been a good source of column inches for newsrooms and real-time offers new ways to tackle these stories, whether you’re recreating the events of an historical day or inviting your readers to share their memories. DFM chose another approach to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean war and invited Geoffrey Cain – senior correspondent in South Korea for Global Post – for a live discussion. The chat suits this topic perfectly as it allows Cain to discuss the anniversary itself and the state of the region today. Above all, it’s his expertise that shines through and his responses are both thought-provoking and enlightening.

This is the 60th anniversary of the armistice, a landmark event because, for many veterans, it will be the last. After that, we can’t say with much certainty whether the younger generation will seek unification between the two divided Koreas.

Live  Swimmers crossing Lake Ontario   Toronto Star

Last week, five women attempted to become the first to swim end-to-end across Lake Ontario. The Toronto Star ran a Scribble event to chart their progress and to allow reader to interact with the swimmers (the swimmers rotated doing two-hour stints in the water). In the same event, they ran a Q & A with one of the swimmers, enabling readers to pick her brain about the swim as it was happening: “I try not to think about the fish, especially if I swim through lots of weeds. That’s when I start to freak out a little bit – when the weeds get all wrapped around you it can be really scary.” They garnered an enormous amount of support from commenters and Twitter, but in the end, the feat was cut short when water temperature dropped dangerously low and one of the women started showing signs of hypothermia.

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