When news sites go down, liveblogs may be the answer

    Several major Canadian media outlets suffered technical difficulties yesterday, leading them to deliver news through alternative methods. The difficulties were particularly untimely as the Canadian federal budget was released yesterday, an important story for many Canadians.

    The Toronto Star started experiencing technical difficulties at around 11:00am yesterday, when their entire website went offline. They redirected their readers to their live news blog, which is hosted elsewhere and was therefore not effected by the outage. They apologized for the inconvenience to readers on Twitter and replied to concerns in a timely manner.

    Toronto Star still managed to cover the federal budget news as their became available on a special typepad blog.

    The site was restored about an hour ago and is now running smoothly.

    CityNews, the news sector of Citytv, Canada’s largest independent television station,  also experienced technical difficulties.

    They tweeted “REMINDER: CityNews.ca is experiencing tech difficulties. In the interim, news & live stream can be found here: https://site.citynews.ca” and redirected users to a temporary site which included a livestream of their news coverage and a news liveblog.

    Their live news blog was also available to readers who could not access the website.

    680News, an all news radio and a breaking news source for local and global news, experienced technical difficulties yesterday too. They also ended up redirecting their readers and users to a live news blog.

    Yesterday seemed to be an unfortunate example of why news outlets need to have a backup method of delivering content to their readers. Setting up a blog to publish articles can take some time. Twitter’s character limits significantly hinders the quantity, and often quality, of the message one can deliver. It seems that liveblogging may be the right solution for news organizations when technical difficulties arise.

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