Digital Journalism: Live Blog Events & What Kind of Journalist Are You?

In addition to the start of my second year studying Photographic Journalism, we as students have been introduced to more advanced module of Digital Journalism. Within this module, we’ll explore a wide range of industrial practices whilst considering in depth the need of social media, along with campaigns and other journalistic content such as words and images.

Learning Outcomes for Digital Journalism Module:

  • Choose appropriate tools and industrial practices in order to prepare and select content for publication.
  • Communicate a narrative clearly and concisely using editorial techniques appropriate to digital journalism.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the digital workflow from source through to distribution.

Summary of Assignments:

Assignment One: A reflective blog (this blog) that charts our week to week progress of the module, this must contain all workshops provided in the lecture with personal ideas towards problem solving with the process of learning.

Assignment Two: Curation of a story. Using the online service Storify, “curate” a story for a two week period by collecting content from social media and news services in a similar format of a blog.

Assignment Three: Live Blog. Create a live blog entry of a specific event, content should include images taken from the event, live commentary as the event is unfolding and elements of social media from tweets, status updates and photos.

Week One: Intro to Live Blog Events & Workshop: What Kind of Journalist Are You?

For the first week of our Digital Journalism Module, we were introduced to the concept of Live Blogging for events as it is required that we replicate this style of blogging ourselves.

What is Live Blogging?

A live blog is simply a blog post which is updated and posted while a specific event is unfolding. It is intended to provide coverage of an ongoing event in the same way as live radio and live television. It is a single post that is consistently updated with up-to-the-minute logs of the goings on of the event.  The appearance and content of the live blog will consist of a wide range of media formats such as images, live streaming videos, audios and text; with the most recent updates appearing at the top.

Typical Live Blogging Events:

  • Sports Games
  • Elections
  • Conferences
  • Conventions
  • Protests.

 Reflection on Live Blogging:

In all honesty, when I read through the module guide and found that we were required to co-ordinate a live blog as part of this first module, I panicked. A million questions scattered inside my head such as ” how am I going to achieve this without it looking very amateur?”, ” what is the layout of a live blog?” and “what event could I possibly do coverage of?”. However, once I was done with the panicking and began to research the definition and concept of a live blog ( I couldn’t attend the lesson and so I had to read the notes on Xstream), I started to understand what exactly was being asked of me and how I could achieve a somewhat professional-looking blog. Unfortunately, had I looked at the module guide sooner, I could have done my live blog as I was attending Comic Con that week! Although this is the case, I have decided that my event for my live blog will be a sporting event, as it is fast paced and will enable me to update continuously and use a wider range of social media such as videos, tweets along with taking pictures as the event unfolds before me. Since it will be near-impossible for me to take a bulky laptop with me to this event, I will be using my wordpress app on my phone and will be posting short updates that will describe the different elements of the event.

What Kind of Journalist Are You?

The second part of this session was a short workshop that quizzed us on the kind of journalism we might be interested in in this stage of our studies.

These were the questions we were asked along with my own answers:

1. What topics are you most interested in as a journalist?

Most of the topics that I have covered in my studies and the articles that I have had published online revolve around interests that would possibly be described as “geeky”, I am mostly interested in the ins and outs of topics such as film, tv, comic books and video games. I see myself writing articles that mainly centre on these in my professional future.

2. Which blogs, news sites and forums cover these topics the best? Try to come up with six examples.

The websites that I tend to use the most are mostly american as they get updates on stories fast, however I have been known to use british websites as well; although they are mostly online magazines. These include such sites as Ain’t it cool news, Joblo, Empire Magazine and Den of Geek. I have also used official film/publishing/games title sites in the past as well.

3. Do you have any hobbies or interests in addition to the topics you chose above?

In addition to the topics that I have chosen above, my other interests reflect these topics heavily. For example, as a fan of reading comics/graphic novels, I have my own online comic series in which I not only write the dialog and story but I also draw and ink the artwork as well. I feel that all the topics I have mentioned above that influenced me greatly in this interest as they are all highly creative and yet it is also an outlet that enables me to practice my writing style.

4. Which blogs, news sites and forums cover these topics the best? Again give five or six examples.

I feel that the sites that cover these topics the best are Joblo, Ain’t it cool news, Empire magazine, Arrow in the Head and Den of Geek.

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