Live-Blogging Breaking News – A Good Idea?

Shooting suspect in Toronto subway shootingYesterday morning, at roughly 10:45am, a gunman opened fire in a subway station in downtown Toronto.

That incident alone was guaranteed to generate news interest; however one newspaper’s coverage caught my interest.

The Globe and Mail newspaper used Cover It Live (which I’ve used in the past) to live-blog its coverage following the shooting, complete with (moderated) user comments. I’ve embedded the coverage below.

This is a short post, as I want to hear your feedback.

My take: this is a great experiment. I tuned-in after a couple of hours, but found it very helpful to see real-time updates as developments broke and more information came to life.

One important point to remember: this coverage is after the fact; note that when this started they’d already updated their breaking news story. In my view, this is simply a different medium for reporting the news, albeit a very modern one.

So, what do you think about this experiment? Take a look at the coverage below.

What’s your take on the way the Globe covered the shooting? Is this kind of reporting effective? What would improve it? Is it, as one person suggested, a privacy issue in your eyes? Does this means of reporting news work for you?

 

(Thanks to Mathew Ingram for helping me to embed the coverage)

Update: CTV employee and former globeandmail.com staffer Bill Doskoch gives his take here, and Mathew Ingram has also given his thoughts on live-blogging news.

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  • Dave,

    This is great to see, I’ll be interested to see if they continue to report this way in the future, and if other media outlets will copy this format for breaking news.

    A similar feed on Twitter would have been interesting too – maybe there was one and I missed it?

    Matt
    @emailkarma

  • I think that if the reporting focuses on the crime and helps in getting the bad guy, then yes this means of reporting news works for me.

    In regards to privacy, yes, it is an issue for me if the reporter is clearly identifying the victim somehow. I mean, if my mother first found out on the news that I was a shooting victim, like the victim in yesterday’s shooting, she would have a heart attack on the spot.

    Live-blogging breaking news works if the focus is on getting the bad guys faster than traditional reporting.

  • I agree with Maria. If it provides information that can protect the public or aid in the investigation, sure. I don’t see any reasons beyond that.

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  • Depends on the nature of the news, as others have highlighted. Blogging the gunman, and the US Airways incident are major events that deserve to be updated, because the details are still unfolding. Allowing people to participate + gain new information at the same time, gives a sense of community and empowerment.