31 March 2008

Four-Step Guide To Breaking News Online

The Telegraph recently gave an insight into its procedure for breaking news stories online.

Digital editor Ed Roussel revealed that the national newspaper has introduced a new system for its integrated newsroom when it comes to reporting major news events as they happen.

Individual editors are assigned as “story owners” and then take responsibility for implementing the following four-phase strategy, reports Journalism.co.uk.

Step 1:

“When news breaks, send out immediate alerts: SMS, email, desktop.”

Step 2:

“After ten minutes, get 150 words on the website and solicit reader help with images/video or other accounts.”

Step 3:

“Within an hour, update story to 450 words and add additional images and video.”

Step 4:

“Then look to commission analysis and opinion pieces, develop a topic page with multiple angles and multimedia.”

Roussel also revealed that assigned “story owners” should ensure they keep to task deadlines by using a grid to note down their plans and strategies.

According to Roussel, the “story owners are key in the newsroom in an integrated environment, and they have got to be really, really good”.

He added the Telegraph believes that newspaper websites are not just a platform for breaking news, but can also be an effective platform for comment and analysis.

“We think the future of successful websites is that we need to have everything, the first word and the final word.

“And that means analysis…we want to have the best people reporting directly for the website.

“It’s about serving the customer, not serving the newspaper.”

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