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March 12, 2008

News sites’ online budget day plans: video, graphics, maps, texts and Tweets

By Martin Stabe wirepost

Budget Day: With an important news event scheduled to happen at lunchtime, the annual announcement of the Government’s budget has become one of the standard great set-piece news events for online coverage on the national news web sites.

As usual, the websites are planning to roll out new online features for the lunchtime announcement:

  • is promising “instant online coverage” from The section includes a discussion forum, budget glossary, a potted history of the last ten budgets and video previews. In the works for after the announcement are a podcast, personal finance editor Matthew Vincent answering readers’ questions and a tax calculator.
  • is promising >live video coverage in both its politics and business sections, an expert panel of team of accountants and independent financial advisers answering readers’ questions in a “live money clinic” on the Money blog. A budget podcast is due to be published around 4pm.
  • The Press Association has produced a podcast featuring George Jones for news portals MSN and Tiscali, featuring an interview with former Tory Chancellor Ken Clarke. Tiscali will also feature a PA-produced interactive graphic which will be updated live from 12:30. PA is also producing a series of video bulletins for its multimedia clients.
  • Sky News will have live streaming analysis called “Budget Unplugged.” users of the microblogging service Twitter to push out alerts to mobiles and instant messenger applications. One Twitter feed will push out the key points from the speech line by line. Another Twitter feed will have real-time analysis, 140 characters at a time. In an interactive Money Worries Map, Sky will attempt to show what the nation expects from the budget based on a survey the channel conducted this weekend. There’s also a tax clinic with Matt Coward of chartered accountants Blick Rothenberg answering readers’ questions
  • will have a live Q&A with experts from Grant Thronton beginning at 12:30. The key points will be online from 12:45. Telegraph writers will add news and comment by 3.30pm and add online calculators from 4pm. Jeff Randall will provide his assessment in a video that should be up at 5.30pm. On the lighter side, there Budget Buzzword Bingo on the Three Line Whip politics blog.
  • Times Online plans full coverage in a special budget section has an online quiz about budgets past has a while Times Mobile is offering a live text-mesage updates. To subscribe, text “budget” to 61192.

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