Today’s budget announcement is being billed as the most significant of recent times given the UK’s current financial woes.
This is both a breaking news story, but one that requires closer analysis and follow up – and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to make it relevant to the reader.
So how are news organisations covering it online and who’s ticking these boxes?
Currently performing well in Google News search for budget, the Telegraph is going in big on online coverage today.
It will be updating throughout the day via its @Telefinance Twitter account (headed up by @hrwaldram). Meanwhile a trio of Telegraph reporters have been liveblogging budget news since 6:30am.
On the subject of Twitter – the Telegraph has reinstated its Twitterfall – an embed aggregating all Twitter updates marked #budget. The feature had to be taken down earlier in the week, because of some mischief, but so far so good with the tweaked (filtered?) version.
In addition there’s a nice ‘What to expect’ guide breaking down the issues that are likely to feature in the budget announcement.
Arguably the go-to site for budget coverage given its specialism, the FT is building on tried and trusted features from last year (a budget day podcast, video analysis, a budget calculator) with a new liveblog from 12pm covering Alistair Darling’s speech, editor Robert Shrimsley, who will participate, told Journalism.co.uk.
The format is based on the site’s MarketsLive feature successfully developed and used by its Alphaville blog. As such it will ‘bring people people up to speed, but inform them in an entertaining way’. Financial analysis but entertaining – two styles that rarely meet, said Shrimsley, but that will be key to FT.com’s liveblogging of the budget.
“There’s a premium on getting that information out and telling people what its means. We feel at the FT that we have the right people to pass on that analysis,” explained Shrimsley.
There will be a Twitter feed too, but it’s crucial not spam people with updates, he added. Readers are encouraged to participate in both this stream and the liveblog though.
Alphaville isn’t being used as a lab for experimenting with new ways of coverage, he stressed, but there is potential for more liveblogging across the site. It’s important not to overdose on technology, however, but to use only when applicable, he added.
“Can we offer our audience what is worth reading? There’s lots of innovation on the internet and there’s lots that you can do – that doesn’t mean you have to,” he said.
Channel 4 News website
More use of Twitter by the Channel 4 news team – as introduced by presenter Krishnan Guru-Murphy in the vid below:
Some nice additional touches include the use of FactCheck to test the claims made by the chancellor in the budget; and a wordcloud (or Snowcloud) of Darling’s announcement.
Sky News Online and Times Online
A specially built budget page has been set up including a liveblog, live video streams of the budget speech, and analysis from bloggers, tax experts and taxpayers, the site told us. There’s a good guide to how to use Sky’s online coverage too – one particular highlight, the chance for users to get answers from PKF UK tax accountant Matt Coward.
Meanwhile Times Online will be following up its excellent liveblogging of the G20 summit with a version starting at midday today.
Liveblogging at regional level
Deciphering what the budget means for the average news reader is being tackled head on by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle with a liveblog taking place across a number of Trinity Mirror centres.
“We’ll be mainly trying to digest it for *normal* people with rx [reactions] from experts, rather than the scary £180bn debt figures,” said Colin George, multimedia editor, in a Twitter update.
Wales Online (bringing in a tax expert) and the Birmingham Post – under its dedicated Live! Section – also host budget day liveblogs (using CiL again).