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Transfer day coverage led to 6,200 reader comments

A regional daily’s live coverage of transfer deadline day led to what its editor today called an “avalanche of interactivity.”

Hull Daily Mail boss John Meehan was speaking during a session at the Society of Editors conference on how newspapers are using social media and live blogging functionality to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of breaking news.

He said that the paper’s coverage of Hull City transfer activity on deadline day via CoverItLive led to 6,200 comments from readers – one every five seconds.

Mr Meehan also revealed that his own sports journalists had provided more than 500 updates and answers to questions during the course of the coverage.

“The immediacy of the web has made timed newspaper editions obsolete,” Mr Meehan told the conference.

Fellow panellist Martin Wright, associate editor of NWN Media which publishes the Leader in North Wales, said Twitter was now the tenth biggest referrer to its main website,

Trinity Mirror head of multimedia David Higgerson said the Liverpool Echo had used Twitter to break the news of the result of the trial of the killers of Rhys Jones.

He said journalists now need to build closer links with people running hyperlocal websites and citizen journalists to enable papers to cover live news at an even more local level.

Ruth Barnett, social media correspondent of Sky News, said Twitter was both a newswire and a way of breaking news.

“We would be very foolish as journalists not to be part of that,” she said.