In a guest post for OJB, Neil Thurman highlights a new research report that suggests that Live Blogs outperform other online news formats by up to 300% and are seen by readers as more transparent, trusted, and ‘factual’ than conventional online news stories.
My new study, authored with Anna Walters, found that Live Blogs at Guardian.co.uk are getting 300% more views and 233% more visitors than conventional online news articles on the same subject. They are also outperforming online picture galleries, getting 219% more visitors.
We studied Live Blogs at Guardian.co.uk. Our is the first major study to look at Live Blogging, which is becoming the default format for covering major breaking news stories, sports events, and scheduled news – like the US presidential election – on the web.
We believe Live Blogs are so popular because they meet readers’ changing news consumption preferences. More and more news is being consumed at work, in the office. Live Blogs provide this ‘news-at-work’ audience with what they’re looking for: regular follow-up information on breaking news in ‘bite-sized nuggets’ which they can read, as several readers told us, while they are supposed to be working.
We found that readers liked the convenience of Live Blogs because they could follow a story from a single page rather than having to drill down into a website.
We also looked at how Live Blogs were produced. We found that because Live Blogging journalists work so fast – publishing updates every 20 minutes for six hours straight – there is little time for fact-checking. Despite this, readers feel that Live Blogs are “less opinion based and more factual” than traditional articles.
Readers see Live Blogs as a more objective news format. The looser culture of corroboration is offset by Live Blogs’ use of a relatively large number of sources, and transparent citation and correction practices.
Readers are twice as likely to participate with Live Blogs than other article types, although if you want your opinion published use Twitter or target Sport Live Blogs. Live Blogs that cover cricket and football are more than 20 times more likely to integrate readers’ opinions than Live Blogs on other news topics. What’s more Live Blogging journalists are three times more likely to include readers’ Tweets than any remarks they add to the comment sections of Live Blogs.
The full report is published by Digital Journalism.