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Live Blogging – Digital Journalism's Pivotal Platform? A Case Study of the Production, Consumption, and Form of Live Blogs at
Digital Journalism (2012)
  • Neil J Thurman, City University London
  • Anna Walters, City University London
This article describes and analyses the production, consumption, and form of Live Blogs at a popular UK newspaper website and contributes to related debates in journalism studies. Qualitative research interviews with journalists and editors, a reader survey, content analysis, and web metrics were used to obtain data about production practices, product outcomes, and the consumption stage of the product lifecycle. The study finds that Live Blogs are a popular daily component of the news site, used increasingly to cover serious breaking news. Although rarely authored exclusively on location, they may utilise more original sources than traditional online hard news formats. Their frequent updates mean factual verification is cursory, but compensatory factors, including their attribution practices, contribute to a positive evaluation of their objectivity by readers. Live Blogs – with their timeliness, navigational simplicity, and bite-sized content units – suit readers’ consumption of news in the workplace. Live Blogs may increase online news readers’ interest in public-affairs content, and their inclination to participate. This study contradicts some existing scholarship on sourcing practices, content preferences, and immediacy in online news, while supporting the observation that news is increasingly consumed at work. It makes the novel suggestions that Live Blogging is uniquely suited to readers’ at-work news consumption patterns and that the format provides journalists with a means to manage the competing demands of their elite and mass publics.
  • Content preferences,
  • live blogs,
  • news-at-work,
  • objectivity,
  • online journalism,
  • sourcing practices,
  • reader participation,
  • verification
Publication Date
November 1, 2012
Publisher Statement
This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article submitted for consideration in Digital Journalism ©Taylor & Francis; Digital Journalism is available online at
Citation Information
Neil J Thurman and Anna Walters. "Live Blogging – Digital Journalism's Pivotal Platform? A Case Study of the Production, Consumption, and Form of Live Blogs at" Digital Journalism Vol. 1 Iss. 1 (2012)
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