Liverpool Echo boosts web traffic with CCTV footage

By Sarah Lagan

The Liverpool Echo increased its web traffic by more than a quarter
in just 12 hours after broadcasting CCTV footage on the site of a yob
attacking an offlicence.

The story had previously made a front-page lead in the paper.
Readers were subsequently directed to the site in the paper and asked
to contact Crime Watch with any information.

Online editor Steve
Harrison had the video footage digitised and placed on the web both to
help identify the attacker and to illustrate the story, which focused
on alleged police indifference towards the attack and a followup visit
made by officers.

It is the first time the paper has used its
website, www.icliverpool.co.uk, in this way. The video was accessed
5,169 times, increasing overall traffic by around 25 per cent.

Harrison
said journalists are now being briefed to start treating video and
audio footage as they would still pictures and to gain access to them
where possible.

He said: “The stills were dramatic, but to capture the full impact of the video, we decided to put it online.

“We
shipped the cassette to a friendly video firm, who digitised the
footage into the Mpeg format and burned it onto a DVD for us.

“The
Mpeg was placed online and a follow-up piece in the next day’s paper
directed readers to the website. To our surprise, we had over 5,000
accesses within the day.”

Echo multimedia editor John Dempsey
explained: “Reporter Greg O’Keeffe was given the CCTV tape as he was
chasing up the story, and in our afternoon news conference it became
clear this was something we could run on our website to appear in
conjunction with the ongoing in-paper coverage.

“The footage was
clearly popular and quickly sought-after by the local TV stations. It
was a great example of how our print and online operations can
complement each other and add value for our readers.”

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