Busy time for reporters at Producer online

The second week in January is a busy time at The Western Producer, and this is especially the case in the online world as the annual Cropsphere/Crop Production Week kicks off.

I thought I’d give our readers a bit of a look behind the scenes to see just what’s involved with covering an event of this magnitude, both in print and online.

Just planning our coverage of what is really three events in one — the Western Canadian Crop Production Show, Crop Week and CropSphere — starts more than a month in advance.

When the show guide comes out, one of the more than a dozen meetings required to co-ordinate our coverage is spent “carving up” the various meetings and seminars being held and deciding which reporter will cover what.

This year the WP has no fewer than five reporters on the ground covering seminars, taking photos, shooting video and engaging with our readers via social media.

Several more of us will be working in the office, editing copy, managing and updating content for the web and social media and generally quarterbacking coverage.

The popularity of social media in recent years has meant even more staff are required on the ground, and this year Robin Booker is helping fill that role by shooting video for the web and adding his considerable experience and expertise to our coverage via social media. (Follow Robin on Twitter @CDNag.)

The sheer volume of meetings and events taking place (a quick glance through the show guide indicates more than 120 over six days) means not everything can possibly be covered. So decisions need to be made how to allocate the resources we have available to generate the kind of comprehensive and informative coverage our readers have come to expect of us.

In recent years, our live blog style of reporting the events has become a popular and valuable component of that coverage.

The live blog — photos, videos, stories and tweets — is updated hourly at bit.ly/1ZX29dK.

And next week we do it all over again at Manitoba Ag Days.

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