Live video takes center stage at the presidential conventions
For those looking to binge on every piece of news and information coming out of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, rest assured: The impending political apocalypse will be streamed live across the web.
While broadcast networks plan to air important speeches and snippets of important moments during prime-time hours on TV, a whole host of social platforms and publishers plan to bring gavel-to-gavel coverage of both conventions over the next two weeks. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch will air speeches from each convention in full as they happen. Facebook is also building a studio space at each convention where dozens of publishers can broadcast live.
News outlets, too, are dedicating resources to cover the conventions using live video with a focus on providing context beyond what viewers might see on the stage. Here’s a guide to what many of them will be up to:
On ABC News’ website and mobile and TV apps, viewers will have the chance to pick from as many as eight simultaneous live streams of video from the conventions. These streams will feature everything from speeches on the stage — including multiple angles of said speeches — to analysis of the latest news and interviews with politicians, delegates, attendees and protesters both inside and outside of the conventions. In a partnership with Facebook, ABC News will also broadcast these feeds across different pages on Facebook, including ABC News and ABC News Politics.
ABC News reporters have also been equipped with a mobile app called LiveU, which will allow them to broadcast live whenever an interesting opportunity presents itself.
“People don’t want to be just shown one thing,” said Dan Silver, executive producer of ABC News Digital. “They want to be provided context, want options and want to be educated.”
CBSN, CBS News’ ad-supported video streaming network, is sending nearly 45 staffers to the RNC and 35 to the DNC as part of the larger CBS News contingent. In addition to CBSN’s site and apps, the network’s coverage will also be streamed in full on Twitter via a partnership between the two companies. The video feed will be paired with a curated selection of tweets from viewers and convention attendees.
“Twitter’s move into live streaming is a great place for experimenting,” said Christy Tanner, svp and gm of CBS News Digital. “It’s a new way of delivering news and provides us with opportunities to engage users.”
In terms of content, CBSN will also look to pull double-duty by airing speeches onstage as well as covering everything that’s happening in and around the convention. With the Twitter integration, the outlet will incorporate questions asked by Twitter users when such opportunities present themselves.
“So much of this election has gone in a way that the established experts haven’t anticipated,” said Nancy Lane, senior executive producer for CBS News Digital. “We want to make sure those people have a voice and feel heard.”
On TV, CNN will unsurprisingly have ample live coverage of both conventions. Online, Facebook Live is a “big part of” how CNN plans to reach viewers who aren’t watching the televised speeches, said Samantha Barry, head of social media for CNN.
CNN plans to go live on Facebook at least once or twice during lunchtime every day of both conventions. The focus will be on bringing in different correspondents, reporters and special guests for deeper analysis about what’s going on. For instance, yesterday’s lunch-hour live stream featured CNN political director David Chalian and national political reporter M.J. Lee answering viewers’ questions ahead of the madness.
Overall, CNN aims to go live on Facebook numerous times a day across the CNN, CNN Politics and CNN International Facebook pages. (For instance, live streams on CNN International will feature Christiane Amanpour analyzing news from an international perspective.)
We have a bird’s-eye view of the #GOPConvention‘s first day. Watch live on Facebook: https://t.co/IHby73poaf pic.twitter.com/OuloB31vau
— CNN (@CNN) July 18, 2016
While CNN doesn’t have a dedicated Facebook Live team for its convention plans, dozens of people — ranging from on-air talent to news reporters — will have a hand in producing the content, said Barry.
“We can’t deny that people are consuming content on Facebook Live. We want to be the trusted source for news and info on that platform,” she said.
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post does not any plans to air what’s happening on the stage at the RNC and DNC — it wants to cover everything else. Of the 50 people The Huffington Post has covering the conventions, five are dedicated solely to producing Facebook live videos. Of that group, two staffers — a producer and a shooter — will be focused on covering what’s happening on the ground as it happens. The remaining three, which includes an on-air host, will be doing planned live videos that focus on different issues related to the convention and the host cities.
The Huffington Post will also use Facebook’s live video lounge, producing an “after-show” each night of the RNC and DNC. Overall, expect The Huffington Post to go live between two and four times a day.
“The whole advantage of our [live formats] is that it allows viewers to interact and ask questions and offer suggestions,” said Patrick McMenamin, supervising producer of HuffPost Video. “The idea is to bring our audience to Cleveland and more directly experience the chaos.”
The Hispanic broadcaster has 12 people from its digital team to the RNC and expects to do the same with the DNC next week. Within that group, it has directed two people to focus on social content, which includes Facebook live videos. These two staffers will work with two colleagues based in Univision’s Miami headquarters to create as many as five daily live videos covering issues important to Hispanic voters.
Of course, these staffers are behind the tablet. Like other news outlets, Univision will also bring in reporters and on-air talent like Jorge Ramos to host some of the live content.
“The brand is what it is because of people like Jorge Ramos,” said Carlos Chirinos, senior political editor for Univision. “We can take advantage of the fact that they’re trusted by their audience, who will follow and pay attention to what they have to say.”
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