This week’s Spotlight takes you through a few unusual events from around the world, showing different approaches for covering softer stories, from street art to sporting retirements, in real-time.
When you’re running a Q & A session it’s important to bring someone on board that your readers will be interested in and who is comfortable engaging directly with your audience. The Fast Company ticked both these boxes with a giant red felt tip pen this week. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who’s relatively familiar with Internet communities, proved an extremely informative and engaging guest. Alexis responded to the first few questions using the webcam feature which immediately makes it a more personal affair—it’s not often that you get someone you’re inspired by, looking at you (virtually) in the eyes. When the conversation reverted to text, his answers were enlivened by images, contextual videos and vines. Not even logistical constraints could stop them – fantastic:
Alexis needs to leave Fast Company HQ and head to another commitment! But don’t worry, he’s going to stay online (in his cab) and keep answering questions!
Banksy, the world’s most-recognisable street artist, travelled to New York, the original epicentre of the graffiti world, this month for an exclusive outdoor exhibition. New York Daily News decided to cover this living exhibition with their own living digital event. The editorial team kept their readers up to date with all the latest guerrilla pieces by pulling photos from Banksy’s Instagram account, from the reactions on social media, as well their own journalists’ reports. They also created a customised Google Map with pins where all the pieces have been found, thus creating an easily navigable ‘Banksy art walk’ map for their readers. The pace and tone of the event is a perfect fit for the tongue-in-cheek Bristolian’s unusual exhibition.
Last week, Sachin Tendulkar, one of the most celebrated players in the history of cricket, announced that he would retire from the sport after his 200th game. The 40-year-old Indian legend will play his final test on home turf in Mumbai. This news, although expected and inevitable, shook the cricketing world and Cricinfo decided to launch an event on their site to hear what their readers had to say. There were those for whom it was about time while others claimed that they couldn’t imagine cricket without the man—in total, Cricinfo filled 19 pages of reaction in the event. The Cricinfo team helped guide the conversation, asking questions, posting pictures and publishing polls but other than that, it was just the voice of an impassioned readership.
The digital age requires a digital solution. The static press release just doesn’t quite cut it anymore, especially when you can have a dynamic, living and breathing press release. Delta decided to run a Scribble event to mark the completion (or ‘topping off’) of its new Toronto hotel. The event gave those interested a behind-the-scenes tour of the hotel, the ability to interact with the press team and follow a Q&A with Delta Hotels and Resorts CEO and others. In addition to the audiovisual and social media elements, readers could find the necessary facts and nitty-gritty detail they would expect from a press release. Great innovation.
Last week, Washington truckers organised a gathering on Capital Beltway in protest against the government. The intention of the WTOP coverage of the event was to keep their readers informed about potential traffic delays that the protests would cause. There was quite a strange theatrical momentum that built as the event went on and truckers gathered. Posts that were pulled in from Twitter showed the different angles of the story: pictures from truckers starting their journey were published alongside tweets from drivers stuck in traffic and reports from journalists. The event also benefitted greatly from audio snippets from WTOP radio shows, adding more context to the occasion.