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‘Live Blogging and Social Media Curation’ looks at the roles of how Blogging and Social media has contributed towards a change of the relationships between Journalists and their Audiences.
Live Blogging is a style of blogging that provides frequent posts of updates on a specific topic. A good example of a successful live blogging is Andrew Sparrow, whom won The British National Newspaper Award for Political Journalist of the year (2011), for his live blogging of the 2010 UK General Election on the Guardian Website. One example used in Sparrow’s submissions was his live blogging of the televised debates, where he attracted 100,000 – 150,000 page views on a typical day. Sparrow has been a significant contributor to popularising the format within a news context. Emily Bell, recalled that Sparrow “wanted to move online because he saw that political reporting and the internet are highly compatible”. Not everyone has been in favour of this form of online journalism which challenges traditional norms and structures. Journalist, John Symes, suggested that the Guardians live blogging format is “the death of Journalism, as there was no structure nor sense”.
Social Networking is defined as an online service which creates communities and allows people to post information and share links. Andy Carvin became a popular figure in 2011, due to his use of Twitter to report the “Arab Springs”. He started to tweet about Tunisia in December 2010, with 15,500 followers. Carvin’s increased profile meant a rapid increase of followers, reaching 42,500 in April 2011 and more than 70,500 in June 2011. Carvin’s work has been widespread and several news organisations profiled his social media use. However critics have taken issues with Carvin’s verification process and reposting of unconfirmed reports. Carvin did not witness or verify his information in the countries that he was tweeting about, meaning that he had to develop different strategies for selecting and verifying information, such as Twitter Hashtags. Benjamin Doherty argues that “Carvin doesn’t appear to do any journalism”.
Overall, there are opportunities for live blogging and social media curation, as highlighted in the two examples given. However there are many challenges that journalists must understand when engaging in practice, such as upholding standards with regards to verification.