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Election night reporters use best of the web

Local newspapers turned to live blogging technology to enable them to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of last week’s council elections.

Visitors to Gloucestershire Media’s site could watch live updates from reporters at six count venues as 63 county council seats were won and lost.

The results were published using blogging tool CoverItLive, which also enabled readers to comment on each result as they came through.

Editor-in-chief of Gloucestershire Media Ian Mean said: “The service proved very popular with our readers and offered them the most up-to-the-minute results service, beating even the county council’s own website.”

Meanwhile Nottinghamshire weekly the Chad broke new ground on its website to cover the local election counts on Friday.

Its reporters used Twitter to give regular updates from the counts, with the tweets visible immediately to visitors via a specially created CoverItLive page.

Reporter James Hoy also created a colour coded Google Map which enabled readers to click on a pin to find out the result for that area.

It meant the Chad was able to bring results from all its local wards at both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire county councils as they happened, with the exercise generating several thousand web hits.

Other newspapers to use web tools to deliver live election coverage included the Worcester News, which also used Twitter and CoverItLive.

The paper’s results service for the Worcester County Council results on Friday garnered more than 3,000 page views.

The Eastern Daily Press’s public affairs correspondent Shaun Lowthorpe live-blogged the results of both the Norfolk County Council elections on Friday and the Euro-elections on Sunday.

He said: “Four years ago when I covered the local elections it was just a case of carrying reports in the newspaper. But this time around I wanted to make as much use of the web and blogging as possible.”