Mansfield, United Kingdom (PressExposure) June 10, 2009 -- WEEKLY newspaper the Chad broke new ground on its website to cover the local election counts on Friday.
It had reporters â Tom Pegg, Helen Lambourne and Catherine Allen - at three of the counts who used the social messaging service Twitter and web-based blogging tool CoveritLive to bring an upto the minute, live and interactive service to its website visitors. Reporter James Hoy also created a colour coded Google map of the circulation area for an at-a-glance image of the political changes during the day.
The reporters, using the newspaperâs Twitter site, tweeted regularly from the counts giving a flavour of the tension and then the results. The tweets were then visible immediately to visitors to a specially created page on CoveritLive (hosted on a custom page at the newspaperâs website).
Many readers added their comments on the live blogging site throughout Friday afternoon and early evening â meaning the exercise was well worth the planning by digital content manager Tom Pegg.
Reporter James Hoy also used Google Maps to create an at-a-glance, current state-of-play graphic throughout the day. Pins were created for each of the wards and colours changed to the appropriate parties â together with details of the votes â as the results came in.
This was all backed up with a team at the Chadâs Head Office (including news editor Ashley Booker, sub editor Peter Hemmett and deputy editor Tim Morriss), creating and updating stories as the news came in, as well as monitoring feedback on the CoverIt Live platform.
Photographers Angela Ward and Anne Shelley were at the two major counts in the Chad area â at Mansfield and Ashfield - as Chad.co.uk gave its visitors a comprehensive results service on a dramatic afternoon in local politics in Mansfield and Ashfield.
Chad was able to bring results from all its local wards at both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire county councils as they happened.
And the exercise generated several thousand hits for the election stories.
The Chad is published and operated by Johnston Press, one of the top three local newspaper publishers in the UK and Ireland. The company's internet portfolio includes UK job site JobsToday.co.uk (http://www.jobstoday.co.uk), UK property site PropertyToday.co.uk (http://www.propertytoday.co.uk) and MotorsToday.co.uk (http://www.motorstoday.co.uk), one of the UK's leading sites listing cars for sale.