Time magazine has called 2024 the ultimate election year, with people going to the polls from India to the UK and America. Rolling election coverage gives publishers the opportunity to keep audiences updated, but also include their opinions in reporting.

This is the latest in our Media Briefs series of short, sharp sponsored episodes – just 10 to 15 minutes – with a senior executive from a vendor working with publishers to make their businesses better.

In this episode, Peter speaks with Naomi Owusu, Co-Founder and CEO at Tickaroo, a leading supplier of news and sports media solutions which enable publishing organisations to engage with their audiences in real-time. We spoke about how live blogging can be used to engage audiences with election coverage, but also how it can be used to bring community voices into regular local reporting.

Here are some episode highlights:

Using live blogging before an election

Elections and live blogging have a history, and normally publishers use a live blog to update people on what’s going on on election day. But we’ve also seen coverage that takes place before the election… Last time we had a publisher that made a whole live blog about voters. They didn’t cover the election but they made what they called a ‘slow blog’, because it was going on for a couple of weeks.

They asked 49 people that represented the whole of Germany, so from any socioeconomic status, to tell them what their concerns are, how they live, what they’re expecting from the politicians, and also what they’re expecting from the elections and how they would vote.

They covered it with videos, interviews, statements, but also images and photos of their everyday lives. That was really nice coverage – not just an informative setting for the election, but it was more giving insight into what people are concerned about the days before an election.

Live blogs to counteract news avoidance

When you write an article, you do your research, you write it somewhere on your desk far away from the audience, and then you post and publish it. But when you’re writing a live blog, the audience is watching. You’re very close to them. You see what they respond, maybe in the comment section, but also on social media. We’ve seen that journalists and editors really react to and interact with the audience while they’re live blogging.

People feel like they’re part of the news, because they can interact. I think they also feel closer to the journalists because it’s more like an X situation, where they see a user photo, they know who’s writing, and the journalists respond to the questions of users.

We had some user generated live blogs with one of our clients called Stuff from New Zealand. They posted or reposted pictures that their audience sent them on their live blog on the supermoon, for example, so it was a whole user-generated live blog. People like that, because they feel like they’re seen. They feel like in the old days, where they had a chance to be represented by local news.

This Media Briefs episode is sponsored by Tickaroo, a leading supplier of news and sports media solutions. Tickaroo develops software and apps that enable organisations to engage with their audiences in real-time and reach their monetisation goals.

Its live blogging software is used by media houses, event organisers, and professional sports clubs and associations. The live content software combines professional digital storytelling and live reporting, with over 72,000 journalists relying on its digital publishing software, available as a native app and web application.

Learn more about Tickaroo’s media solutions on their website.

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