Earlier this year, our re-elected SU president, Leanne Goodwin, resigned from her role after being offered a job. As a newspaper editor, this was a dream come true: Everyone cared about why she left. Well, most people at least; there’ll always be that hefty contingent of students that wouldn’t bat and eyelid if Hitler himself invaded the campus and set up shop.
Anyway, not only did Leanne’s resignation give our paper a decent lead story after what is normally a sleepy summer period, it also provided fodder for upcoming issues as well with the by-elections.
Our paper comes out every three weeks. The election night falls slap bang in a rubbish situation. It’s the day after an issue goes to print. So, obviously our paper won’t have it — and by the time the next one is out, it’s old news.
So instead we’re going to do it all online. The student elections will be liveblogged from the Engine Shed (our main uni venue). Here’s the plan so far:
– Liveblogs throughout the night with Flickr photos from mobiles. Yes, the quality is likely to be poor, but time is key here. We have good photographers who will provide the pro shots for the next day.
- Video interviews. These MAY be going up straight away… we’re looking into the limitations of such an endeavour at the moment. If not, they’ll be online by the morning.
- Audio interviews to make up a podcast, much like Press Gazette’s effort at the Student Journalism Awards this year.
So, I’m now going to attempt to open up the floor to suggestions. How should we do this? It’s new to me. We don’t get taught how to do this sort of thing here (shamefully), but we have a good team that I know can pull it off really well. My current thoughts when it comes to practicality are:
– Liveblogs: Simple, we have WiFi around university. Bring a couple of laptops and we’re sorted on that front. Blogs will, naturally, be made with Wordpress.
- Video: We have good equipment available to us, so we’ll be using that. I’ll be in touch with the TV bods here so we know what we’re doing. YouTube seems as good a place as any to host them – and we’ll embed them in the blogs/news stories. Maybe we can upload these throughout the night via the WiFi-connected laptops.
- Audio: Piece of cake, I reckon. Minidisc recorders out number journalism students around here — or so it seems — so everyone reporting will have their own. At the end of the night, all the minidiscs are collected and we have our content.
It’s ambitious, but not stupidly so. As I’ve said before, I’m VERY open to suggestions.
I’ve been doing a little bit of reading around tonight. This post by Andy Dickinson is what we’re aiming for. The biggest hurdle, I think, is to get everyone using the technology with great ease. It will be hard. Like Andy says, it would be great if everyone could look at new technology the same way as they look at their pen and pad: Merely tools that can get the job done.