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Why Liveblogging Should Be Taught in J-School

Today the latest incarnation of the iPad will be unveiled to the public in a big event in California.

There are many people who are interested in learning about what this new iPad will feature. Will there be 4G? Will it have a retina display? Those questions and more will be answered today.

But since there won’t be a live video feed of the event, how will people find out?

The news will be delivered by people who are liveblogging the event.

Saying that you’re going to live blog an event, and actually live blogging an event are two different things.

Reporting on an event for a story is not the same thing as reporting on an event as it is happening, sending out bursts of information every couple of minutes.

It’s not the same skill set, but it’s something that reporters are increasingly likely to have to do at some point in their careers.

And not every event requires the same “style” of liveblogging. In a post on the Nieman Journalism Lab blog, Justin Ellis, NJL assistant editor, wrote:

As liveblogs has become more ubiquitous, their writing styles have grown more varied. Some favor a just-the-facts-ma’am near-transcript; others mix in more commentary and reaction or humor.

It’s because of that varied style that students in journalism school should be taught the basics of what it means to live blog an event. It’s a skill set that is becoming as valuable and necessary as a journalism student learning how to take basic photos while on assignment.

What do you think? Is liveblogging a skill that journalism students should be taught, or one that they should learn as it comes up throughout their career?

Image credit: Flickr/toprankonlinemarketing

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