On Friday the Huffington Post UK offices were evacuated due to a three-hour siege that closed Tottenham Court Road.
When journalists found themselves 100 yards from a breaking news story, they “grabbed phones, though sadly [they] didn’t grab chargers and laptops” and went into to the street, the title’s executive editor Stephen Hull told Journalism.co.uk.
Hull used his iPhone to share pictures and videos from the scene, adding 5,000 followers to his Twitter account in the process.
He posted videos taken on his phone on YouTube, including one of a woman called Abby who was the target of the attack.
The videos went viral, receiving 32,000 and 200,000 views respectively and were picked up by mainstream TV broadcasters.
Hull told Journalism.co.uk:
One of the great things about the Huffington Post is that we can run the entire website from our bedrooms.
We had staff working at home who were due to come in later in the day. They were able to pick up the running of the site and update the front page with splash images.
Hull’s Storify detailing the process is available here.
The Huffington Post has opted for an Independent-style Facebook app, which sits within the Huffington Post UK site rather than encouraging readers to access stories within Facebook, as favoured by the Guardian.
Those who sign up for the app and agree to share some of their Facebook details will see their reading habits shared with their Facebook friends.
Carla Buzasi, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post UK told Journalism.co.uk that there is an option to opt out.
Every time you are on a story and you don’t want that to be shared there’s a delay and you can click and stop it sharing.
The Huffington Post, which launched a UK edition on 6 July, hopes that the app will increase traffic to the UK site, which reported 5.4 million unique views in January.
We’re obviously monitoring it quite carefully. It’s a little bit to early to say at the moment but Facebook does send us a significant amount of traffic already.
Carla is speaking at our next digital journalism conference, news:rewired – connected journalism, as part of the panel on “Bringing the outside in”, a session looking at newsroom strategy behind integrating third party and user generated content.
Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips, we are recommending journalists to follow online too. Recommended journalists can be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to rachel at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.