A couple of week ago I had the opportunity to talk to Mark Thomas, editor of the Liverpool Daily Post (LDP). The LDP has been one of the first UK newspapers to open the editorial conference to the (online) public, has pioneered liveblogging and has used Twitter as a reporting tool.
Alison Gow, deputy editor at the LEP, has a number of blog posts covering the issues and has put together an excellent presentation of the liveblogging (using coverit live) experience [included at the end of this post].
Download [69 meg]
In our conversation we touched on the following points:
- Why use these tools at all?
- Was it a risk to expose the inner workings of a news room to the public?
- How engaging with the readership gave new ideas and allowed for testing of campaign ideas
- What were the negative aspects of opening up in this way?
- Is it technically difficult?
- Is it expensive?
- Policy issues: Twittering for the brand/Twittering for yourself
- What does Mark see as the future for the newspaper industry
An unexpected bonus was the degree of excitement and engagement liveblogging created amongst the journalists. Even initially sceptical people got sucked in and enthused.
On cost: It was ludicrously cheap to do - otherwise we couldn't have done it.
To any other editor contemplating doing this - the good news is that you will not have to go to your MD to get the go-ahead.
On policy: We should have a social media policy in place so that reporters are aware of the fact that the can be seen as representing the brand even if (for example) twittering privately. Possibly need to have separate accounts.
On the future: Perhaps the future is that newspapers will only be paper products at the weekends. Though there is still a lot of legs in newspapers at the moment