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How To Cover The Occupy Wall Street Movement As A Digital Journalist

Today marks one month since the Occupy Wall Street movement started in New York City. This past weekend, the movement went global, with thousands protesting in cities from Canada to London and Rome to Tokyo. News organizations have been covering the events daily, but reporters are doing more than just broadcasting interviews with protestors and retelling eyewitness accounts. Many are utilizing new story telling techniques to enhance their reporting.

If you are covering the Occupy Wall Street protestors in your city, consider using the examples below to ensure you cover all aspects of the story.

Data Maps
For the data journalist, why not create a map of all the Occupy Wall Street incidents happening in your city?

Take a look at 15october.net for a map of Occupy Wall Street incidents reported worldwide, powered by Ushahidi. The map depicts, in a way words cannot, how far the movement has spread. You, or your readers, can add to this map by sending a tweet with the hashtag #events15oct.

Live Blog
If protests are occuring in your city, try live blogging what is going on. Curate reports from other news outlets in your city (giving proper attribution, of course) in a swift manner and your readers will be drawn to your site for the latest news.

The Guardian is compiling different news stories from sources like the AP, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News and more in a live blog that can be updated every minute. It’s a great place to start seeing what and how other news organizations are covering the movement. It also gives readers an up-to-the-minute account of what is happening.

Live Tweets
Andrew Katz, a student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has been doing a fantastic job tweeting the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City. Live tweeting from the handle @katz during the day, and even spending a couple nights with the protestors, Katz has been giving real-time reports on what is happening on the ground. His tweets create a direct link between his followers and the protestors.

This is a great example of how a reporter can share news quickly and effortlessly with readers. All you need is a smartphone and a Twitter account, and you are immediately sharing updates with your audience. You can also create a list of the best Twitter handles covering the movement so that your followers get a full view of what is happening, when it is happening. For an example, see Reuters’ Anthony Da Rosa‘s list.

Storify
Don’t forget to bring the story back to your readers. Giving a little history to the protests helps explain how it became a worldwide movement that is now in your city. Canadian journalist Bill Doskoch did just that with his Storify timeline on how the Occupy Wall Street movement came to life and how it came to be in Canada.

Have you seen any other unique ways reporters are telling this story?

Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter, either @10000words or @elanazak.

Note: This post was originally entitled,”How To Put a Twist on Traditional Coverage of the Occupy Wall Street Movement” but was then changed to its current title to more aptly reflect the content. Thanks to reader Andy Boyle for bringing that inconsistency to my attention.

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