Breaking news reporting

Web app Relay makes multimedia reporting presentable during breaking news

With Relay, a new platform for live blogging in all its forms, Randy Abramson hopes he has solved a problem for news organizations in need of a central, well-designed hub for multimedia in breaking-news situations. Abramson is director of audio/video for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and other U.S. government-backed broadcasting organizations. His background includes stints at Newsweek.com and the Star-Ledger. In his current, more strategic role, Abramson has been able to step back and evaluate how news organizations overall cover breaking news. He said coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the Washington Navy Yard shootings convinced him that news organizations are well-prepared for news gathering in terms of staffing levels and reporting tools. But the trouble, he said, is that the presentation is so often lacking, especially on tablets and smartphones. Read More

Journalists under attack: Pros offer safety advice

Look at this page on the Committee to Protect Journalists' website and feel a pain in your gut. The site documents the 45 journalists who have been killed on the job worldwide this year. Most were covering human rights, politics and/or crime when they died. If you think the only journalists who face danger on the job are those … Read More

Breaking News app's alerts can shout all day or stay out of your way

Behind the buzz-buzz of a smartphone alert could come anything: News of the death of Osama bin Laden, or a “we have to talk” text, or an email with that job offer, finally. Or it could be news of a Miley Cyrus twerk, or a “remember to buy milk” text, or an email with an offer to come to Best … Read More

Confusing coverage in breaking news may be SOP, but pre-empting tweets is new

California manhunt subject Christopher Dorner may or may not be dead: Forensics investigators will look at the teeth and make chest X-rays of the charred corpse found in a rental cabin where police say the former Los Angeles police officer holed up and exchanged gunfire with cops. That image perfectly encapsulates the gnarly reporting around last night's shootout. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office asked reporters to stop tweeting in the event Dorner was monitoring Twitter (police made the same request of TV viewers). Candy Martin, who was surprised to see her rental cabin on television -- told police it had "no cable, telephone or Internet service," the Los Angeles Times reported. KPCC didn't comply with the request and posted some bewildered reaction from media outlets and consumers alike. "It's not unusual, particularly in a police standoff, for police to ask television in particular to be very careful in their live coverage," Poynter's Al Tompkins told me in a phone call. "But this idea of Twitter coverage is a new wrinkle." Read More