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.
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:
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.
To mark President Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 20, news sites are plotting and planning their online coverage already:
CNN’s going for the social networking angle, teaming its live video streaming site, CNN.com Live, with Facebook. Users will be able to update their Facebook status from the CNN site and see a stream of updates from their friends.
The updates entered via CNNLive will be tagged with the hyperlink ‘via CNN.com Live’ so Facebook contacts can click through to view the inauguration site from the social network.
Reuters, Associated Press (AP) and Agence France Presse (AFP) will not cover matches, training sessions and events for cricket in Australia, because of ‘unacceptable accreditation terms’ set out by Cricket Australia, the sport’s governing body in the country.
According to a release from Reuters:
“No text stories, photos or video of any of the training sessions, matches, press conferences or events will be distributed by the international news agencies to media around the world for the first test against New Zealand later this month, and potentially for the South Africa test coming up in December.”
Reuters partner Getty Images will provide images and ‘fulfil their commercial obligations only’ e.g. not providing any editorial of the matches.
Rights organisation the News Media Coalition said the agencies had been in discussions with Cricket Australia for months before rejecting the terms, which featured several restrictions relating to online coverage including:
Rules on how newspaper websites can be updated
Veto power for Cricket Australia over which websites and non-sports magazines the agencies are allowed to syndicate content to
Restrictions affecting the distribution of content to mobile news services
“As in previous instances, this decision [the accreditation terms] compromises our ability to report independently and objectively, and comes at the expense of global fans and sponsors,” said Christoph Pleitgen, global head of News Agency for Thomson Reuters, in the release.
“We would like to resume our timely, premium coverage as quickly as possible, pending a solution to the current situation. However, freedom of the press and protecting the news interests and coverage rights of our global clients are at the core of both our business and Reuters editorial principles, and these must be upheld.”
For those that have been under a rock/on Mars for the last year, the next President of the United States will be decided tonight, giving news organisations another opportunity to flaunt their interactive, live reporting and user-generated wares as the votes unfold.
Twitter Vote Report: the microblogging tool has been harnessed by a network of volunteers to map voters’ experiences at the polls. Tweets tagged with waiting times (e.g. #wait 120 for a 120 minute delay) are plotted creating a rapidly updating map of problems. Could be a great service for local newspapers in the states to provide:
WashingtonPost.com: the paper has gone for an aggregated approach, pulling together all strands of its election day coverage on a map. The TimeSpace: Election graphic shows photos, video, articles, tweets, posts and audio and lets you scroll through the day with a timeline:
Yahoo: created a one-stop shop, US election microsite drawing together all of its features, including forums, Yahoo Answers, AP and Politico stories and aggregated content from external news sites, a Flickr stream of photos and options to set up news alerts on the candidates.
Hubdub: the just-for-fun news prediction site is carrying an election forecast map, which it claims is based on ’51 underlying prediction markets that respond in real-time to breaking news’. Users can view forecasts state-by-state to help them decided where to place their Hubdub dollars when predicting the outcome of questions such as ‘Who will win the 2008 US Presidential Election?’ and ‘What will be the margin of victory in the state of Ohio?’
“We think using it [the SMS service] we were the first media outlet to deliver the verdict. We were also the first to deliver police-supplied footage of Wright being interviewed,” James Goffin, web editor at Archant Suffolk, told Journalism.co.uk.
The text message service, which is being trialled by the Archant title, will be used to cover large breaking news stories in the area and enables newsroom staff to send a message directly to subscribers from any computer or device connected to the internet.
To access the alerts, which will cost 25p to receive, users should text ESTAR ALERTS NEWS to 84070.
The Guardian has removed a video from its website showing a suicide bomb attack in Israel after more than 550 complaints were made about the footage.
The piece, which was selected from a package of footage and text supplied to the paper by Reuters, showed the wounded being taken to hospital, as well as statements from the Palestinian agriculture minister and a Hamas spokesman. It was removed four days after being posted to the site.
In response Butterworth points out that at the time no Israeli sources featured in the Reuters package.
She also directs complainants, readers and Honest Reporting to the paper’s other online coverage of the event:
“Honest Reporting linked only to the video; it ignored the rest of the Guardian’s coverage. It didn’t mention that the story published on the day of the bombing (and which the video accompanied) began with comments from the Israeli prime minister and included statements from an eyewitness, a doctor at the scene and a police spokesman. Stories about the event in the following days also included statements from Israeli sources.”
However, with regards to the video in question, Butterworth admits there was ‘an editing error’, which may have lead to a perceived Palestinian bias. While this was the reason the piece was removed, this was not ‘a deliberate attempt to give a one-sided response to the event’, she adds.