Digital Journalism: Planning Live Blog.

As part of the module for this semester, it is required that we plan and post a Live Blog of an event we have chosen. For this week we were asked to plan the Live Blog in detail which ranged from pitching the idea, to devising an action plan of what we will want to include on the day of blogging. As I had been looking in to what sort of events I would like to blog about for quite some time, I found this task to be relatively easy. I knew that I wanted to blog about something that I already had attended before, so that I knew what to expect event-wise; and so I chose to Live Blog an event called the “Thought Bubble Festival”, which is an event that caters to artwork centred in comics. I chose to cover this event because I felt that the program had interesting and authentic events within the festival, along with the fact that it is something that I genuinely am interested in myself.

Planning the pitch and action plan proved again to be fairly easy to devise, I looked on the website so that I could find out the festival’s history, which later I included in my pitch so that it would explain the festivals nature in order to promote the event to someone who possibly would overlook it at first glance. After this, I started to look in to what panels and workshops I would like to blog about while I was there, along with planning and considering what equipment would suite my coverage best. Although picking what I wanted to blog about seemed once again easy to choose, I often pondered over what equipment would work for such an event. I felt that taking my DSLR camera would be an necessity, however I also wondered if it would be best to blog on my blackberry using the WordPress app, or to take my notebook. As the notebook would also let me record videos and allow me to upload my images while I was blogging, I decided that this would be easier than to use my phone; providing I keep the rest of my equipment to a minimum so that I could travel from panel to panel without any trouble.

Below is both part one and part two of my Live-Blog Planning:

Part One: The Pitch.

Now in its 6th year, the thought bubble festival will run over 7 seven days which will host a variety of events across the city. It is a festival that caters to long-time comic book fans and those who are casual art lovers, with a centre-piece convention taking place over the weekend which includes a line up of well-known comic artists and 300 tables showcasing the best comic art around, along with a huge cosplay parade.

I have decided that I will attend Sunday 18h Nov which includes a range of Q&A panels which I will document using my smart phone and laptop.I will also be taking my DSLR with me to photograph the goings on along with the cosplay parade. As the day of the event is a full day programme where some events overlap others that I might want to attend, I have chosen a few events to live blog about; I will also only be writing short text updates along with audio clips to record the live Q&A sessions, I will then use my camera’s memory card to upload images to my blog while the event is unfolding.

Part Two: Action Plan.

Things that need to be done in preparation of the event:

Information Gathered:

What is the event about:

Thought Bubble festival is the largest of its kind in the UK, it is an annual celebration of all things sequential art that ranges from super-hero comics to independent and underground comic artists and writers. What started life in November 2007 as a one day event which took place in Leeds’ Town Hall basement has since then gone from strength-to-strength, attracting attendees from around the world, growing to the current week-long festival format that is has become over the last year.

What the event aims to achieve:

  • A non-profit organisation that aims to promote literacy and artistic skills through the medium of comics/graphic novels.
  • As they see graphical storytelling as an important cultural art-form, they seek to promote its popularity as it is stylistically and thematically the most diverse art medium in the world.

Events/Coverage Plan of the day:

As the festival provides a wide-range of panels and events to attend, I will have to narrow down what it is that I feel will be “blogable” on the day. The aspects that I need to consider for each event are to be as diverse as possible so that I am not feeling as though I am posting updates that could be deemed as samey or boring. I have also decided that I shall start blogging once I am inside the venue in order to create a recording of the build up. Here is a short list of events that I think will be interesting and diverse to post about:

  • Women In Comics, 11-11:50 : Alison Bechdel, Kate Beaton, Simone Lia, Hannah Berry, Fiona Stephenson – Thought Bubble’s annual panel talk on the increasing presence of female writers & artists in comics. This promises to be an engaging discussion on the female perspective in comics & how they’re helping shape the contemporary story-telling process.
  • 2000 AD Portfolio Review Judging Session, 12-12.50: Many have tried to make it into the hallowed pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest comic, most have failed. But the winner of this year’s 2000 AD portfolio challenge will be joining the likes of Dave Gibbons, Jock, Mick McMahon, Brian Bolland & Mark Buckingham!This year we have the ultimate prize – the winner of the portfolio session will get the chance to illustrate a Future Shock in 2000 AD! Join the ranks of the biggest names in British comic books by getting a paid strip from Tharg the Mighty.
  • Sketching Spotlight/ Live Events, 1-3: Becky Cloonan, Pia Guerra, David Petersen, Scott C, Andy Belanger, Fiona Staples – come along to our sketching spotlight to see some of the finest artists currently working in the industry drawing live on stage & taking you through their creative process. All sketches produced will be auctioned off for charity.
  • Cosplay Masquerade/Live Events, 3-5.30: Whether you’re in costume or not come along & experience a cavalcade of crazy characters as we decide who’s best dressed enough to impress our judges! Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, along with a judges’ choice award. Costumes must be hand-made, or altered by at least 50% to have a chance of winning the competition, but all cosplayers are welcome to attend the masquerade.

Equipment:

  • DSLR Camera-Must bring both wide-angle lense and marco for panel events to prevent taking shots of solely the crowd.
  • Notebook-Must charge before event as I will leave my lead at home, check for any available wifi.
  • Blackberry-In case notebook battery dies or cannot get a sufficient connection.

Venue:

This is the map of the venue, I feel the best way to ensure that I get there on time is by booking a taxi so that I avoid a long cue which should cost around £7-9 depending on traffic.

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