Dr Neil Thurman and Anna Walters (City University London, Journalism School) published a study into liveblogging which found that Gaurdian liveblogs (Gaurdian.co.uk) are getting 300 per cent more views than conventional online news articles on the same subject. Thurman explains his reasonings as to why he thinks liveblogging is becoming the default format for covering major breaking news stories, especially sporting events, scheduled news and political elections. With 233 per cent more visitors than conventional articles Thurman believes that it is because liveblogs are extremely effective in engaging audiences.

Liveblogs are well adapted to meet the “changing consumer preferences” for delivering news and formatting how we read it, these changes online have lead to the displacement of news consumption from print to online and Thurman says that liveblogging is just the next stage in this phase.

Liveblogs fulfil many preferences for online news consumption: They provide regular updates and follow-up information about events . They are suited to users’ preferences which monitor a single page rather than drilling down into a news site for various information. Finally, liveblogs heavy use of text content Thurman says that it makes it more suitable for people to read when they are working or busy.

He argues that it may be the form of liveblogging itself rather than the actual content which carries the attraction. He uses the example of Marshall McLuhan’s work that “the medium [in this case liveblogging] is the message.”

In his research he spent time talking to Guardian.co.uk journalists about their process of live blogging and it came as no surprise that it was produced at speed. A typical Guardian liveblog lasts for 6 hours and is updated 40 times, so on average a journalist has to research and write a new update every 20 minutes for 6 hours.

From his research he found that redears thought that liveblogs were “more factual” and less “opinion based” than standard online news articles. Trust and objectivity is an important factor which is focused on verification of facts, transparency, providing supporting evidence and balance – and this is what liveblogs do very well. Thurman found that readers were twice as likely to participate with liveblogs than other articles.

(Source: http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/why-liveblogs-outperform-other-online-news-formats-by-up-to-300-per-cent/s2/a551273/. 22nd November 2012)

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