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CoveritLive switches to paid-only service

Popular liveblogging platform CoverItLive has announced the end of its free usage tier, becoming an entirely paid for subscription service.

In an email to current subscribers the company wrote:

CoveritLive is introducing new monthly subscription plans based on active usage. These plans provide customers full access to all of CoveritLive’s Premium features – previously unavailable to Basic plan customers — including event feeds, event groups and homepages, live webcam and access to the CoveritLive API. Additionally, we have released several new features including a new dashboard with enhanced metrics, simplified Facebook event implementation and improved user management tools.

With the availability of the new plans and features, we will transition all CoveritLive Basic customers (including your current account) to a new Trial plan on July 1st 2012. The Trial plan will still allow you complete access to CoveritLive functionality for free and with no time limit, but it will now place a limit of 25 event “clicks” (active users who click into or engage with an event) per month on your account.

CoveritLive’s ‘Starter’ subscription costs $9.99 per month and allows for 250 viewers per  month, their ‘Standard’ tier costs $149 per month and allows for up to 10,000 viewers. The current Basic plan for the service will end on 1 July.

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TechCrunch: Demand Media buys liveblogging tool CoverItLive

TechCrunch reports today that Demand Media has bought CoverItLive for an undisclosed sum. The liveblogging tool was founded in Toronto, Canada in 2007 with funding of $1 million.

Demand Media has originally made a strategic investment in CoverItLive back in 2009, acquiring a minority interest in the startup. With today’s acquisition, CoverItLive will become a platform within Demand Media’s portfolio of social “solutions”.

TechCrunch’s full post is at this link

 

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#WEFHamburg: Follow the World Editors Forum live

October 6th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Events

The World Editors Forum kicks off today. You can follow discussions on how newspapers are developing new editorial products, experimenting with new business models and what that means for the journalism they produce and the journalists they employ. The full line-up is available at this link.

Watch the livestream below courtesy of the European Journalism Centre (EJC) or follow the Twitter discussion with the hashtag #wefhamburg. Journalism.co.uk will also be tweeting from @journalism_live and our coverage can be found on the blog and main news site under the tag #wefhamburg.

You can also follow all the tweets from the event via Coveritlive below the livestream video

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#soe09: Live coverage online – opportunities for audience and money?

The benefits of using social media sites, predominantly Twitter, to cover live news events, newsgather and let the readers in were stressed by speakers from Sky News, Trinity Mirror, NWN Media and Northcliffe in a session at the Society of Editors conference today.

Sky’s social media correspondent (once titled ‘Twitter correspondent’) Ruth Barnett explained what had been learned since her role was created:

“We’d be very foolish as journalists not to be part of this interaction (…) I use it as a newswire – not one as valuable verifiable and reliable as PA, but as a good source of leads, eye witnesses and trends.

“If we can tweet our own breaking news it allows us to be proud of it, own it and direct traffic back to us.”

But there’s more to come: Trinity Mirror multimedia head David Higgerson emphasised the need to work with the audience to improve the use of tools such as CoveritLive.

“The big lesson that we need to learn is that we need to involve the audience more. If people want more passive coverage we’ve got the BBC, which is not to be critical of the BBC, but it can be hard to interact with it,” said Higgerson.

There needs to be experiments with livestreaming video into liveblogs, he added, and newspapers should start looking at the potential of  tools like Audioboo. There’s no reason Audioboo, for example, couldn’t be used for more in-depth reporting, such as livecasting election results, he explained.

But the biggest challenge is finding a way to work with the ‘army of citizen journalists’:

“We need to go to them and our reporters need to be building relationships with them. If we can engage with them on local terms we can create a potent force for live news.”

But it was Hull Daily Mail editor John Meehan who suggested that liveblogging and live-tweeting could be a revenue opportunity for news groups:

“If paid content on the web is part of our salvation we have an obligation to develop services that go far beyond news and traditional reporting (…) It used to be paid-for live coverage in print (…) Covering it live on the web, real-time and interactive, may be one of the keys to earning revenue from content published online,” said Meehan, who used the Mail’s coverage of transfer deadline day in September as an example (500 posts on CoveritLive by journalists; 6,200 comments received on all-day liveblog).

“We’ve got no plans to make them pay for it, but I think we as an industry should have an eye on where we can make money from. If that many people are going to spend that much time on a service, they really value that service (…) Mainstream news is a commodity; we need to find the things that aren’t commoditised.”

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Jon Bernstein: Five innovations in news journalism, thanks to the web

What has the web ever done for journalism, except skewer its business model and return freelance rates to levels not seen since the early 90s?

Well, not much, apart from reinvent the form.

Amidst the doom of gloom in our industry it is easy to lose sight of how the web has transformed the way we tell stories, provide context and analysis, and cover live events.

This is arguably the most creative period in news journalism since movable type – new forms, new applications and new execution. Newspapers are embracing video and audio, radio stations do pictures, and TV has gone blogging.

You’re likely to have your own suggestions, and favourites. But here are five of the best:

1. Interactive infographics

Broadcast news was quick to adopt the graphic as a means of explaining complex issues or, more prosaically, make the most of a picture-challenged story. The web has taken the best examples from newspapers, magazines and TV and given them a twist – interactivity. Now you can interrogate the data, slice and dice it at will. Two of the best practitioners of the art can be found in the US – the New York Times and South Florida’s Sun Sentinel.

2. Crowdsourcing

From crime mapping to a pictorial memorial to the victims of post-election Iran to joint investigations, the crowd is proving a potent force in journalism. It took the web to provide the environment for a real-time collaboration and ad hoc groups are brought together by dint of interest, expertise, geography or some combination of all three. Not all crowdsourcing projects run smooth but the power of the crowd will continue to surprise.

3. The podcast

Just as cheap video cameras and YouTube democratised the moving image, so the podcast has made audio publishers of us all. Some podcasts mirror radio almost exactly in format, down to the commercial breaks at the top, middle and end of the show. Others break the rules. As Erik Qualman notes in his new book Socialnomics, today’s podcasters are taking liberties with advertising models (building in sponsorship) and with length of transmission (“If a podcast only has 16 minutes of news-worthy items, then why waste … time trying to fill the slot with sub-par content?”).

4. Over-by-over

A completely original approach to sports reporting, only possible on a real-time platform. Like Sky’s Soccer Saturday – where a bunch of ex-pros watch matches you can’t see and offer semi-coherent banter – over-by-over and ball-by-ball cricket and football commentaries shouldn’t work, but they do. And it’s not just the application, it’s the execution. The commentaries are knowing, not fawning, conversational and participatory. Over-by-over is CoveritLive and Twitter‘s (child-like) elder sibling.

5. The blog

The blog and the conventional news article are entirely separate forms, as any publisher who has tried to fob the user off by sticking the word ‘blog’ at the top of a standard story template will tell you. The blog allows you to tell stories in a different way, deconstructing the inverted pyramid and addressing the who, what, why, when, where and how as appropriate. Breaking news has become a narrative – early lines followed by more detail, reaction, photos, analysis, video, comment and fact checking in no defined order. It’s a collaborative work in progress. News is becoming atomised on the web and the blog is the platform on which it is happening.

I’ve named five but there are bound to be others. What have I missed?

Jon Bernstein is former multimedia editor of Channel 4 News. This is part of a series of regular columns for Journalism.co.uk. You can read his personal blog at jonbernstein.wordpress.com.

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Manchester Evening News tweets live from police control room

August 24th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Online Journalism

Three thousand police officers hit the streets last Friday for Operation Admiral – a series of co-ordinated raids over a 24 hour period, aimed at hunting down Greater Manchester’s most violent drunken thugs.

During the operation 672 people were arrested and multiple weapons found including an AK-47 machine gun with a rocket launcher.

Manchester Evening News (MEN) reporter Dean Kirby was in the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) control room from 9am through till just after 5pm using Twitter to provide live updates to the MEN website, which were streamed via a CoveritLive blog.

Readers of Kirby’s coverage began leaving comments from as early as 11.35 am, one anonymously advising that ‘They need to concentrate more on Rochdale’.

Throughout the rest of the day sporadic messages of support filtered in from the public, one such said, ‘well done GMP keep up the good work’. In response assistant chief constable Garry Shewan thanked ‘the public for their strong support over the last 24 hours’.

The MEN’s online coverage provided a host of stories in the weekend’s print editions – broken down by the 12 divisions of the Greater Manchester Police – and several online follow-ups.

The MEN has previously made good use of data from news stories online – see its homicide map for the Manchester area – so figures from the raids could provide a starting point for new visualisations.

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Journalism Daily: 3am.co.uk launch, MSNBC and EveryBlock, Bauer Radio’s new deal

August 18th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism Daily

A daily round-up of all the content published on the Journalism.co.uk site. Additionally, you can sign up to our e-newsletter and subscribe to the feed for the Journalism Daily here.

News and features:

Ed’s picks:

Tip of the Day:

#FollowJourn:

On the Editors’ Blog:

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Sports section revamp for Northcliffe – building a sporting community

August 13th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Newspapers

NorthScreenshot from SportHull.co.ukcliffe has brought its standalone sport sites in the north east onto the same platform as its newspaper websites for Hull, Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Lincoln – as reported by HoldtheFrontPage – e.g. the sports section on each of the thisis sites for these areas now redirects to SportHull.co.uk, SportGrimsby.co.uk etc.

There’s a big push for interactivity with a Virgin Media video player of sporting highlights alongside in-house videos; CoveritLive blogs for match days and an aggregated feed of local sports news from a range of sources (see left).

Sports coverage is a huge traffic driver to regional newspaper websites and breeds interaction and buzz (one story on the SportHull page posted yesterday morning had already attracted 113 comments at time of writing this post).

The section is more differentiated from the rest of the site now in these four examples, so will it have an impact on traffic to other news areas that may have benefited from the traffic generated by the sports channel. While the sports sections do have a link back to the main website they are more heavily demarcated than previously.

With the new features these pages offer a one-stop shop for local sports fans – I can’t spot a link to a message board or forum on the new sports’ sites however. Other Northcliffe titles still use this format – are the new sites hoping the other interactive features will replace these?

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Phone hacking liveblog: Coulson and Kuttner’s evidence

Journalism.co.uk will be reporting today’s culture, media and sport select committee meeting at this post, using CoverItLive. We’ll also send out occasional updates via our event Twitter account, @journalism_live.

Background: following reports by the Guardian newspaper that there were further allegations and evidence, previously unreported, indicating that News International journalists had repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories, the House of Commons culture select committee has begun taking new evidence. Last week it heard evidence from Nick Davies, the Guardian journalist who reported the allegations, Alan Rusbridger, editor in chief of Guardian News & Media and Tim Toulmin, director of the Press Complaints Commission.

Today the committee will hear evidence from Andy Coulson, former News of the World editor (and currently director of communications for the Conservative Party), and Stuart Kuttner, former NOTW managing editor.

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Liveblog: Keith McSpurren from CoverItlive

May 13th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events

If you haven’t heard already (from the many tweets, blog posts etc) the president of liveblogging technology CoverItLive, Keith McSpurren, is going to be chatting with a small group of interested parties today at City University from 1pm.

Michael Haddon is getting into the spirit of things and will attempt to liveblog the proceedings:

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