Blogs > The Reporter's Community Notebook

A notebook of local information for and written by the community.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Understanding The Reporter's live coverage of breaking news (Part 1)

North Penn Fire Company members clean up a diesel fuel spill (from the truck at left) on Main Street in North Wales after an accident involving a vehicle traveling west on Main struck the eastbound truck on Thursday afternoon. Photo by Mark C. Psoras

By Andy Stettler
Asst. Online Editor

Over the past two weeks Reporter staff have covered quite a few breaking news stories including the stabbing in Hatfield along the Liberty Bell Trail and the crash that caused a fuel spill in North Wales.

In both cases, we followed our regular procedure of alerting the public through live tweets and SMS about what was happening on the scene. Those tweets included photos of the scene and the latest updates about what local residents needed to know about each situation.

For instance, during the fuel spill incident in North Wales, our tweets alerted the public to the closure of Main Street, where the closure was and when the street was expected to reopen.

We followed our normal procedure. But this time with an added feature -- we live blogged each developing story.

This is, of course, something we should have done a long time ago and in some cases we have. But in these most recent cases, we provided a form of live coverage that focused on each development minute-by-minute.

That's coverage most won't even find on the Philly news TV stations.

Since we plan to do this more often in the future, we at The Reporter would like to take this opportunity to explain how our live coverage of breaking news works and --in a part two post later this week --- how you can get involved to help us improve our coverage.

Understanding our live coverage format

When we first post a breaking news or developing story to our website, we only post the information that we know is correct. In addition, we post "timestamps" telling readers when we initially reported the incident, plus the Twitter name of the reporter covering developments and a notification that this is a developing story.

The "This is a developing story" notification is always at the very bottom of the story to let readers know that more information is coming.

In the case above, we did not have a clear image of the scene by the time of the first alert and so we used a Google Street View to show where the stabbing had been reported.

How to find our live coverage after a full story is posted

In the example above, we posted a series of updates providing information as soon as we received it leading up to a full story.

The full story is always posted above the live coverage portion of the article. In order to see the live coverage portion, simply scroll down to where we have posted in bold "Scroll down for latest updates." Below, is where readers can look back at the developing situation and see how quickly events occurred.

Most of the live coverage will already be covered in the full story, however, we understand that readers have an interest in seeing the real-time posts even after the incident is no longer in progress.

In weeks ahead, we'll post a part two regarding our live coverage of breaking news. In this upcoming post, we'll explain how readers can get involved in our coverage and help us improve.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Montco, Bucksco residents tweet about Apple, Steve Jobs

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lansdale's Founders Day, Oktoberfest celebration begins at 11 a.m.

Photo by Mark C. Psoras

Lansdale Borough is throwing a party to mark its 139th birthday and you’re invited.

On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Founders Day hits the streets with hours of entertainment for all. Whether you are 9 years old or in your 90s, the day is filled with activities to display Lansdale’s greatest qualities. The celebration kicks off with an opening ceremony at Borough Hall on Vine Street, beginning at 11 a.m., followed by a day of tours, crafts and food.
Read more at The Reporter.

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