I think part of the problem is when people consider a live blog or chat to be like a live radio program. They don't consider how it'll live on or be retweeted. If you know it has a life beyond "the now" that can change your perspective.
On real-time errors, Courtney, yes, that's true. Particularly tricky is getting to know how your mobile hardware might integrate with the app you're using. (In our case, Scribble's). So the editorial mistakes can of course be corrected in this environment, but if you load a video sideways or upside down it's not something that can be corrected. You have to live with some mistakes and make a judgment about the value of the content against the appearance of the media on the live blog. In one instance we've got great protest video upside down. We kept it! In this instance, the students just need more experience and then maybe even a physical reminder on their phone about which way to hold it for live blog-ready video. It's easy to make mistakes when you're managing all the software at once. I should add that you can rotate and edit photos in this environment, but not video.
Here's a great question from one of Terra's former students, who also happens to be one of Mick's former classmates!
Yes, mistakes happen. That's why practising is key and going over policies like live editing. Prep work!
Belinda, in my other life as a CBC journalist, I relied on reporters all the time for live info, whether it was from court, a fire, etc. It always helped to chat before about expectations, style, etc. I often crafted stories based on their tweets or emails. They had to be accurate.
I'll also say that the message was always the same: Don't tweet it if you wouldn't say it on the air.
I recently did a focus group with some journalism students about real-time content and Dana's question came up a lot. There were some students who were very apprehensive about the integration of live updates into journalism. I think we're ALL very interested to know how you guys get students to understand the importance of this knowledge.
Belinda, just to add a little more on ethics: Partly this is about journalism but partly I think it's about everybody (what was formerly know as "audience" included!) getting used to new media conventions. I think if journalists make their best efforts to verify twitter accounts, for example, or the veracity of whatever content, then that's something that can distinguish them from other users to some extent. But we also need to put this in perspective. There's always been fraudsters, via phone, fake IDs whatever. (As a side note, did you ever ask someone to see their ID when you were using them for a streeter and they told you their name was Joe Brown? : )) So part of it's a matter of doing the best we can and then owning up to mistakes and apologizing for them when they happen.
Dana, as someone who was a student just a few years ago, I found what convinced me was the constant activity on social media platforms. I find the concept of waiting for the supper hour show to break "exclusive" or "breaking" news completely ridiculous. People are active all day long. They consume information all the time. Become a part of their trusted sources.
Dana, "fast journalism" is a real skill and it's valued in newsrooms. The expectation for many new journalists is that they can operate in a real-time environment. This could mean the difference in landing a job!
On the value of real-time reporting, Mick's got it right. In my experience, students often take a good year to rid themselves of some of the romanticism for old media forms. They need convincing that they have an advantage in today's world. If they just apply what they understand and know from their everyday lives to the journalism world they will do very well. ... analytics do help. They can see, in cold hard numbers, how real-time content can perform compared to old content that's posted after the news has broken for example. I have this saying that websites are where stories go to die now. Which is an exaggeration, I know, and I don't quite believe it -- but there's a grain of truth to it.
Great answer, Gavin. My final question, as we only have a couple of minutes left, kind of ties into the idea of new mediums for journalists replacing traditional broadcast. Do you see real-time reporting one day replacing static articles? At least in the case of breaking news, or sports reporting?
That's a good one, Gavin. Websites aren't fast enough.
Real-time reporting has already replaced breaking news. The only reason why the concept of "breaking news" is still around is because it's a catch phrase traditional media like to use to attract an audience. I think real-time reporting is here to stay and will definitely improve over the years. The unfortunate events at the Boston Marathon this year, for example, were a huge learning opportunity for journalists around the world. I think articles, in a way, are starting to become archives. Newspapers are outdated by the time you read them, but it's a good round-up of the event.
Courtney, real-time reporting is here and it's not going away. Live blogging tools like Scribble are accepted means for getting news out. But we always have to be thinking about the story beyond "the now" and the questions that can't be answered in the moment. Proper analysis takes time.
To some extent, Courtney, real-time has replaced the static article. Here I'm going to contradict myself, but an article's extended life is in the comments section, which is more or less real-time, give or take some moderation. Some commenting systems actually feel like live blogs when you catch them when they're hot. As Terra and Mick have noted, there's always room for analysis, and that's where the value of the older mediums come into play... Although arguably, you could do all of that in a real-time chat too!
It begs the question, what happens after the event? You guys here at Scribble certainly have thought of that with your round-up articles.
That's great. Looks like our hour is up. But thank you so much Gavin, Terra and Mick for joining me today. I think your insight provides some good ideas for professors and students going forward with real-time content.
That was a lot of fun. Thanks for all the great questions. The time passed so quickly.
Thanks for having us! It was a real treat. Don't hesitate to contact me on Twitter with more questions if need be! -- @MickCote
Thanks for this opportunity. I agree with Gavin, time flew by! I'm at @tailleurt if anyone wants to chat later.