ITV News to bring social media to bulletins

ITV News is introducing social media to its bulletins as part of a year-long project aimed at measuring the impact of Government spending cuts outlined in today's emergency budget.

From today ITV News will introduce a The Cuts: Your Stories strand to its programmes during which viewers will be able to use interactive features on ITV.com/news to chat to reporters, financial experts and other viewers about their experiences.

The live webchat will take place while ITV News is being broadcast and for a period after the programme.

The introduction of the new feature follows the use of social media during the first televised leaders' debate in the run up to the general election, ITV said today, where more than 200,000 ITV News viewers used its Cover It Live interaction tool.

ITV News also intends to recruit a panel of key public service workers and families to access how their lives and jobs are being affected by cuts.

Deborah Turness, editor of ITV News, said: "Government cuts will dominate the news agenda for a long time to come, and our panel will show their direct impact on people from all walks of life.

"The debates brought social media out of the teenage bedroom and into the living room. So many people enjoyed the experience of watching TV whilst chatting online it became a mainstream experience.

"We wanted to build on that in our news programmes and use social media as a platform to offer useful information to our viewers whilst harvesting their take on living in 'austerity Britain'."

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