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Mercury breaks the mould with instant royal visit video

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to Weston-super-Mare for the first time in 30 years was a story too good to miss for the Weston & Somerset Mercury.

So within an hour of the royal arrival at nearby Yatton Station, the Archant South West title had published video footage of the event on its website, along with the full story.

The Queen went on to visit the local Winter Gardens in Weston and Ashcombe Children’s Centre, all of which was filmed and uploaded to the Mercury’s website as it happened.

During the royal visit, photographers Mark Atherton and David Kenneford shared the Rota passes for the seven venues the Queen visited while reporters Charlotte Richardson, Mark Mistry, Emma Wright and Vicky Angear took to the streets with standard digital cameras capable of short video clips.

Within an hour of the Queen arriving at the railway station, the Mercury had a video clip of her arrival on its website and updated throughout the day as she moved around the town greeting crowds of people who had turned out to line the route or welcome her to a range of venues.

The town’s local radio station quickly publicised the video footage on the website which generated visitors to the site within minutes.

Editorial staff proved they had quickly got to grips with the technicalities of video filming – and went on to shoot footage of Channel 4’s T4 on the Beach event two days later.

Editor Judi Kisiel said: “Without any film training the reporters brought back some great footage of local people celebrating as the royal party toured the town. Monday morning saw us sifting through hundreds of pictures taken by photographers and reporters to enable us to put together a 16-page wrap for Thursday’s paper.

“It would have been nice to have a trial run for reporters to practice videoing and experiment putting it on the web but being thrown in at the deep end worked brilliantly!”