Hundreds of journalists joined Saturday’s march against spending cuts, according to the National Union of Journalists, with reporters and citizen journalists out in force to cover the largely peaceful demonstration.
One of those reporters was first year linguistics student Matthew Taylor, who set up a new website and live blog to gather Tweets from student journalists on the ground.
Independent student journalism site Elephant, which launched 12 hours before the march began, recorded 1,000 unique users on the day, with around 75 followers online at any one time.
Taylor, a 20-year-old student at Queen Mary University of London, created the site using ScribbleLive’s live blogging platform. Taylor said he wanted immediacy and accountability for the tweets included in the blog and by using the software he was able to use approve Tweets through a student editor.
Armed with an SLR camera, a netbook and phone, Taylor was one of around 15 students reporting for Elephant. The site’s editor, who was also watching out for new information on the UK Uncut blog updated by members of the protest group and rolling news channels, curated and checked tweets for use on Elephant with a delay of “maybe a minute”.
“We were second only to television as the fastest visual report on the day,” Taylor claimed.
He said he is now providing feedback to ScribbleLive as to ways the company can improve the distinction between comments from the public and contributions from journalists in a live blog.