Liveblogs are changing the way news is produced, presented and consumed online.
They are used by news publishers worldwide (Al Jezeera, the BBC, Mirror UK, the New York Times), including the Guardian who’s liveblogs receive more visitors for long periods of time than conventional articles/picture galleries on the same subject. The Guardian publishes around 146 liveblogs a month (on major breaking news, scheduled entertainment news and sports)
In liveblogs the emphasis is on on direct commentary and analysis of events as they are going on rather than a written narrative after the events have happened to sum them up in one go.
Becket says that liveblogging by mainstream organisations suggest that “news consumers have an appetite for a more complex form of news coverage”.
Relative popularity—by unique visits and page views—of a selection of Live Blogs, articles, and picture galleries at Guardian.co.uk, March to May 2011. Seven different news stories covered at Guardian.co.uk were analysed. For each, at least one Live Blog and at least one conventional article and/or picture gallery were selected at random, and usage tracked over a 24-hour period.
Comparison of time spent on a selection of Live Blogs, articles, and picture galleries at Guardian.co.uk, March to May 2011
Characteristics of Guardian.co.uk Live Blogs liked by readers, August 2011 (sample size 167; multiple answers allowed)
Typology of Live Blogs at Guardian.co.ukTypeCharacteristicsNews
|News||Scheduled well in advance, semi-scheduled or completely unscheduled.Major breaking news stories, generally with a more serious tone.
Examples include natural disasters, protests and riots, unfolding political scandals.
|Sport||PredictableCasual in tone
High level of direct interaction with readers.
Fewer multimedia elements.
Links and multimedia elements often included for entertainment purposes, may not be directly relevant to story.
|Series/Subject||Cover a subject, not a single story.Usually public affairs topics.
Examples include: Politics Live, Middle East Live, and a Live Blog on planned reforms to Britain’s National Health Service
|Other Scheduled Event||Planned in advance and of finite duration.Cover soft news, such as the Cannes film festival, the Eurovision Song Contest, and television series such as The Apprentice and X Factor, which are Live Blogged at the same time each week.|