The leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping but don’t fret because we’re here to usher autumn in with October’s first Spotlight. This Spotlight’s mix ranges from elections in Austria to second screen in Italy to political debates in Detroit. And no, there aren’t any Breaking Bad spoilers here…
Austrian Election by Die Presse
Another week, another European election but this time it’s not the continent’s most populous nation but it’s southern neighbour, Austria. This particular event is the culmination of Die Presse’s excellent pre-election coverage in which they invited the candidates into their newsroom for live Q & As with their readers. The coverage of the election itself was clear, engaging and informative. Their readers make great use of the discussion feature to ask questions and interact with the journalists – a reader asks for more photos and, in the next post, the reporter obliges. Each staff member working on the event is covering a different political party and they’re working collaboratively to populate the event and give readers every angle of the story. One useful tip – there’s the logo of the political party each journalist is covering in their avatar – it’s a simple solution but it makes it much easier to follow.
X Factor 2013 by Sky Italia
This is the first episode of this year’s must-see Italian singing competition. The live event is run by the organisers of the show and published on Sky Italia’s site so it’s full of behind-the-scenes information that are unavailable elsewhere. As the first few episodes of the show are pre-recorded (the latter stages are live), they were able to prepare some of the content in advance, so the posts are longer and more detailed than the average live event. An interesting approach to the second screen experience, making the most of their exclusive access.
Q and A with Suzanne Legault by CBC
One of the keys to a successful Q &As is timeliness, so getting Canada’s Information Commissioner, Suzanne Legault, in to the newsroom for a discussion about Right to Know Week makes perfect sense. This is an excellent example of how to moderate a live discussion – the reporters control the rhythm of the conversation nicely, striking a good balance of their questions and reader comments. They also make it explicit how their readers should get involved and explain why certain questions wont be published – this simple tip is often overlooked, but can be the source of real frustration for readers who don’t see their questions appearing. The result: an interesting discussion that’s easy to follow and engaging.
Ask the Candidates by Detroit Free Press
Sticking with live discussions for the time being, we can take a look at another really successful example from the past week. Detroit Free Press invited two candidates for the upcoming Detroit City Council elections and invited their readers to grill them on policy and position. One of the best things about these sort of discussions – whether it’s with a politician, celebrity or journalist – is that they give readers direct access to people they would never normally be able to interact with. In which other circumstance would a citizen have the opportunity to ask a political candidate this and actually get a response? It’s fantastic to see the readers getting so involved and the candidates responding to the barrage of questions.
Tutti i Giorni by La Stampa
This ‘slow liveblog‘ has been running on La Stampa’s site for a while and it’s a brilliant idea that could be incorporated into any website. They have teamed up with Francesca Valiani, a photographer and author of the book, ‘Tutti i Giorni’ a collection of photos about the beauty of daily life. So, what’s the big idea? Every day she uploads an image she has taken – her ‘photo of the day’ – to the feed. That’s it. It’s extremely simple, but the effect is a slow, drip feed of beautiful images that has been attracting consistent traffic since the end of August. Very nice idea and easy to replicate. Quick note – the quality of the photos is essential!