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Reporter tweets raids from police control room

A daily paper was allowed unprecedented access to its local police control room to cover a huge series of raids in Greater Manchester.

Manchester Evening News reporter Dean Kirby was able to provide live online coverage of the raids, designed to target the city’s most violent criminals.

From a berth in the Greater Manchester Police control room, he used Twitter and CoverItLive to detail each new development in the operation, which resulted in 300 arrests.

Around 3,000 officers took part in the raids which took place on Friday.

Head of online content Paul Gallagher said: “I think this has been a good example of our journalists using new online reporting tools to bring a fresh approach to the MEN’s coverage of a live news story.

“Greater Manchester Police also allowed us to place a reporter, Dean Kirby, in their control room and he was able to provide our readers with regular updates on the operation throughout the day.

“CoverItLive was useful for this because it allows our readers who are not on Twitter to follow the reports and also add their own comments. The response from readers has been very encouraging.”

The paper’s coverage of the raids can be viewed here.


Onlooker (24/08/2009 11:50:43)
I know the MEN’s circulation has plummeted in recent years but using Twitter in this way smacks of utter desperation. Sad to see.

inward looking (24/08/2009 22:44:02)
Onlooker, using a communication tool to engage with a new audience isn’t sad to see, it is encouraging. It’s not desperation. Desperation is sneering at anything that doesn’t involve hot metal

Onlooker (25/08/2009 09:50:01)
Fair point, Inward Looking. However, the whole idea of Twitter and similar outlets, including most websites, is that they are FREE and give nothing back to journalists or their companies. If Rupert Murdoch is now seeing the error in this selfless generosity, I expect the MEN will be forced to confront it at some point, too. I wasn’t sneering at all, just highlighting the hole that the MEN and other papers seem determined to dig themselves into.