Planned political events like the annual State of the Union address aren’t the most compelling events to cover, but they can be a low-risk way to plan and test different coverage formats that you can later whip out for unpredictable breaking events. Below are a few of examples, ranging from Bing News to the Washington Post, of how various websites covered this year’s SOTU. The common theme: A live video stream and a live blog combined with some form of reader engagement. Many of the major sites also had a sponsor for their live coverage. Cha-ching!

NPR: Live audio stream with a live blog and live reader chat. 

I appreciated the live blog, though the discussion functionality at a national scale was a little disorienting. An enhanced broadcast that contained realtime captions, charts, graphs and other data. Social media participation and behind the scenes galleries.

Obviously they had a bit of an access advantage, but I still appreciate how they take an out-of-the-box approach to a standard event. News organizations could steal this concept for after-the-fact video coverage recaps.

Read more