UCLA’s Dance Marathon has created an annual tradition of our own at the Daily Bruin, where we send reporters and photographers to cover the entirety of the event. The continuous 26 hours are a challenge, but also one of the best ways for new reporters to dive into live coverage. Each year, the staff collaborates to better Dance Marathon coverage for interviews, plus multimedia and online presentation. This year, the staff took a more visual approach along with an increased use of social media.
Jillian Frankel, features editor, took the lead in organizing the staff’s workflow for the event.
Planning any major story will most likely involve meeting challenges along the way. Since the Daily Bruin had more limited access this year, Frankel said she had to plan accordingly: “In the weeks leading up to the event, we met with the Pediatric AIDS Coalition organizers to discuss coverage and found we’d be limited to only three passes,” she said.
Teamwork and collaboration proved to be very important. She managed to “adapt to sudden curveballs,” because “the other editors stepped in and compromised so other sections could go, ensuring our multimedia coverage wouldn’t be compromised.”
Dance Marathon was also an opportunity to roll out the Daily Bruin’s Snapchat. It had always been an exciting area that had yet to be explored; Dance Marathon seemed to be the right event to kick things off. It was simply a matter of trying to find the right time and place to use it, and 26 hour live coverage sounded interesting enough. Snapchat gave followers a behind-the-scenes look at life in the office and what it is like to cover an event like Dance Marathon.
To conclude, this year’s Dance Marathon coverage was another success. Frankel said of the whole project, “So many people came in just to see if the editors on duty needed snacks or even a hug. 26 emails, three Egg McMuffins and two days of no sleep later, Dance Marathon was over and we had created some of the most beautiful content I’ve ever been a part of producing.”
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