NBC News supplements Supreme Court coverage with one-glance site

As the court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act Wednesday morning and declined to rule on a case involving California's Prop 8, NBC News supplemented its usual coverage with a single-serving site called IsThereSCOTUSDecision.com.

Ryan Osborn, NBC News' vice president for digital innovations, says his team threw together the one-glancer in four hours this past Sunday and "we’ve seen a nice little reaction." It was inspired, he said, by sites like HowManyPeopleAreInSpaceRightNow.com and the Guardian's Is There White Smoke site during March's papal conclave.

NBC News is also supplementing its live coverage, anchored by its justice correspondent Pete Williams, with a partnership with SCOTUSblog Publisher Tom Goldstein. The network has embedded SCOTUSblog's live blog in a post off IsThereSCOTUSDecision. Goldstein is also appearing on-air with Williams.

"Whats most important is, obviously our reporting, and that we’re able to get the basics right," Osborn said by phone. An effort like IsThereSCOTUSDecision is there to put "some icing on" the reporting, he said, but it's also part of a strategy to "take their reporting to places to maybe they're not going to reach" otherwise.

NBC News spokesperson Meghan Pianta confirmed that NBC, like other outlets, stationed someone in the Supreme Court's pressroom to run the opinion out to a crew. CBS saluted interns who perform that task yesterday:

Here's a Storify of how journalists reacted to the Supreme Court rulings.

Previously: New York Times' guide to Supreme Court coverage | How SCOTUSblog prepared for the health care ruling

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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