Live blogging: A staple of 21st-century journalism

As the readings make clear, live blogging is an important journalistic tool that can deliver context to readers as they are processing the news in real time. Live blogging often is absorbed a “second-screen” experience during which people simultaneously view live events such as political debates, sports events and even entertainment awards shows.

During today’s live blog exercise, you will bring context to Saturday’s GOP presidential debate in South Carolina by carefully searching for — and evaluating the credibility of — news reports and other resources that provide your readers with critical background and perspective. We will use CoverItLive, which is used by many journalism organizations to provide running coverage of live events. In the past, SMU J-students have even used CoverItLive to live blog about the SMU Student Senate, college lacrosse and SMU’s Celebration of Lights.

We will live blog the speech for about 25 minutes. For your live-blog entries, you can paraphrase the candidates’ comments, use direct quotes, provide links or share your own journalistic observations. (Whether you personally agree with the candidates doesn’t matter … you are simply trying to bring context to your readers who are following the speech.)

When the speech goes live, it’s going to seem a little chaotic. That’s OK. There are no points at stake here. It’s a practice exercise.

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