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June 15 2010

08:17

ITV Blogs: Why ITV stepped back from Cumbria shootings coverage

A thoughtful post from ITV’s crime correspondent Keir Simmons on why the broadcaster took the decision last week to reduce its coverage of the aftermath of the shootings in Cumbria two weeks ago:

Yesterday morning our editor Deborah Turness decided that the point had been reached when we should step back from covering the story in Cumbria on the national news. She asked that we now only report on the funerals with a short update – a picture of the person who lost their life and a couple of images of the funeral.

A good explanation of balancing a need for news with sensitivity – and a great example of how a journalist can use a blog to explain these company-wide decisions to viewers.

Full post at this link…

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June 02 2010

14:42

Guardian reprimanded by readers for comments on Cumbria shootings liveblog

Commenters on Guardian.co.uk’s liveblog covering the shootings in Whitehaven today challenged the site over its decision to publish comments on the blow-by-blow coverage.

The liveblog, a format which has been used to good effect by the Guardian previously, particularly for its G20 coverage and Andrew Sparrow’s election coverage, has been aggregating news coverage of the events as they unfold and updating with police information and eyewitness statements.

But commenters have taken the site to task for leaving the blog open to readers and asking for comments and information to be posted in the comments section:

I think having a comment section on this is pretty ghoulish and in bad-taste (…) Best just to let the truth come out properly instead of this rolling, almost certainly erroneous way of doing things.

Yes, as earlier commenters have said, please switch the comments off. It is legitimate – and might even help save lives – for the media to seek minute-by-minute updates from people there and quickly broadcast any information that is relevant. But it does not have to be public.

Fortunately, and to the site’s credit, editor Janine Gibson stepped in with this comment:

There are very good technical reasons to cover a fast unfolding story in this way, which are nothing to do with turning into Fox News but are to do with speed of publishing and being able to correct things quickly.

However, we’ve discussed it and think the bulk of commenters are correct, it’s not a particularly useful way to source information on a story such as this, so we will turn the comments off.

Thanks to those who raised it constructively.

(Hat tip – @jonslattery)

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13:08

#Whitehaven shootings: key journalists to follow as story unfolds

At time of writing, police are searching for a gunman, who has killed a number of people and injured others after opening fire in several areas of west Cumbria.

Police are searching for the suspect, named as Derrick Bird, after shots were fired in Whitehaven, Seascale and Egremont, reports BBC News Online.

As the local newspaper website, the News & Star, groans under the weight of traffic, journalists covering the story locally are posting updates to Twitter and other sites. Key people to follow are:

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