The Philadelphia Inquirer is my assigned beat blog for my Digital Journalism II class at Marquette University. For the past six weeks I have been blogging about aspects of philly.com and how well their coverage of historical events, deaths, breaking news and photography has been. The majority of the time I was quite pleased. 

The 9/11 coverage I critiqued paled in comparison to the breaking news of Steve Jobs' death The Inquirer produced. The of the moment photography and columns produced were incredible compared to those from 9/11 and I feel this has to do with the increase in the way the news source uses social media, which I also blogged about here

By analyzing these events and the ways philly.com gathers their information as well as engages their audience I have become more self-conscience about how informative I am to those who follow my twitter, webpage and blog. I try to provide relevant links and use many photos to help captivate the audience. Philly.com does a great job at coupling photos with their stories, though it tends to use the same photo for a brief as it does an expanded story. 

When I first began to blog I thought philly.com would provide periodic updates and the articles would be short and sweet, but I soon realized that news sources are consistently updating their information. They provide articles on their homepage that are columns, features, breaking news, photograph essays and more. Journalists are working 24/7 and can't rest, they are constantly on the look out to find a story and have it online before the competitors. Online journalism is a process, and having made myself subject to the same criteria of all online journalists, I know posting, editing, cropping, live-tweeting, producing content that stands out among others is harder than thought.  

After six weeks I have begun to learn that I gather a lot of my news through social media, such as Twitter and online news sources such as CNNNew York Times, or The Star Tribune because it is easily accessible and consistently updated. Before I leaned more towards my friends and social circle for information, but now I believe I have a more reputable variation of news outlets and broader range of information at my fingertips. 
 
 
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Live-tweeting has become a trend. Everyday people are participating in the phenomenon and those who are not partaking in social media festivities are missing out. Including The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Recently a Journalism 1550 class practiced live tweeting for Marquette University's 23rd Presidential Inauguration of Rev. Scott Pilarz.  I, as well as my classmates partook in this exercise. At the beginning I was nervous. I did not know if I could distribute timely, professional tweets throughout the ceremony that accurately informed the public. A main concern was using AP style throughout the inauguration so my professor, Herbert Lowe, would not look at his phone and gasp in horror during the ceremony. 

After the lengthy but historical inauguration JOUR1550 had completed their mission of live-tweeting a monumental event -- as well as gaining carpal tunnel. Through the days that followed we all received several retweets, new followers, and praise from the community. 

Now, I will say I am no expert at live-tweeting after one experience, but I will share my opinion and say The Philadelphia Inquirer lacks live coverage of events in many ways.  

After looking at their website, Twitter and various other Twitter feeds such as Philly.com's "Green" Twitter, and sports Twitter I realized there was very little to follow "in the moment." Their Twitter is never "blowing up" my phone like many other news sources do when it comes to important events and live coverage.  

The sports section of the online news source lacks live-tweeting, which is a surprise as recreational activities such as baseball and football need consistent updates in order for viewers to be up to date with the current score. The website as a whole does not use Storify, Facebook and social media of the like on a regular basis either.

However, I did notice that a reporter is branding himself through Storify and Twitter to help bring attention to his work. Daniel Victor, Community-builder for @phillydotcom, uses his Storify consistently as well as his Twitter
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Victor has tweeted four times in the last ten minutes with updates on the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays heated game. This is more than I have seen from The Philadelphia Inquirer's twitter account in the last ten minutes.   

The Philadelphia Inquirer's main use of Twitter is breaking news and attached links to correspond with a story on their website. Generally the tweet will be one to two sentences explaining the breaking news and a link attached to the end. Very rarely will you see a stream of related tweets, if at all.  

I believe The Philadelphia Inquirer can take a lesson from Daniel Victor and try Storify and live-tweeting. This would enhance their use of social media and engage their audience more.