Election night. It’s the Super Bowl of news coverage. Nothing rallies a newsroom like the thrill of the big night, as journalists sift through results after polls close.
But traditional newspaper coverage is often outdated by the time the paper is printed. How can newsrooms, which staff election coverage as well as anyone in a community, make sure they’re getting stories out to the public as quickly as possible?
Thinking digital-first, of course.
That’s exactly what happened at the Providence Journal during primary season. As Maria Caporizzo, the managing editor for digital, explained during a recent installment of the GateHouse Professional Development Series, the staff decided to change its focus on primary night.
“Out of necessity … we threw everything into the home-run technologies we had in hand, and pretty much abandoned what no longer works. An election, as results are coming in, is a real-time event. It is secondarily a newspaper you hold in your hand the next day, when everybody already knows how things turned out,” she said.
What things did they do?
Since the Journal had reporters at multiple sites, gathering quotes for the next day’s edition, they made consistent use of Facebook Live. The results was numerous videos, all of which were viewed at least 1,000 times — with one getting over 4,000 views.
“I cannot over-extol the power of that tool for its reach and ease of use/accessibility,” Caporizzo said.
Pulling together all the news in one place was easy — the newsroom used ScribbleLive to gather quotes, videos ad other key points.
“Its iFrame embed works consistently and reliably on desktop, mobile and our DoApp app. It allows true real-time publishing. It is also easy to use,” Caporizzo said.
And what can be done once the elections are through?
This tidbit came from the Fall River (Mass.) Herald News: The day after the election in 2015, they ran a quick “CliffsNotes” version of the previous night’s activity. The post was viewed more than 2,000 times.
“I collected bits and pieces (literally copied and pasted) from all the election stories from last night. No new work,” said Lynne Sullivan, the paper’s managing editor.