The development is the latest in a series of mobile advancements for the newspaper
USA Today, which has introduced an array of mobile innovations this election cycle, has perhaps saved its best for last: live, on-the-ground coverage of swing states via Facebook Live.
USA Today Network journalists reported from polling places and on Facebook Live, speaking to voters across the nation to create a cohesive report that covers important national and local races and initiatives. The culmination of USA Today Networks mobile efforts into the Facebook Live pilot allowed the newspaper conglomerate to provide users a mobile hub for all election-related coverage, all under its brand banner.
"The USA Today Network already reaches more millennials than millennial-focused outfitters like Vox or Buzzfeed, so we are well positioned to engage our millennial viewers on election night with our Facebook Live Election Night show," said Russ Torres, vice president of video at USA Today Network. "Throughout the day, journalists from the Networks 110 sites (USA TODAY and 109 local sites) will be reporting from their polling places and on Facebook Live.
"We also did something exciting and unprecedented yesterday," he said. "I think USA Today is likely the only publisher who can and will simulcast one LIVE feed across 100+ Facebook pages.
"The focus of our Facebook LIVE activation is to provide our audience an approachable, trusted and dependable analysis of tonights election wherever they are. From North to South and coast to coast, and every red and blue state in between, weve mobilized every local properties to share election results and the outcome of ballot issues that matter most in their communities."
The networks election night coverage also included real time results and analysis from its many network media organizations which were live streamed across USA Today Network markets, as well as on the USA Today application and across 100+ NETWORK Facebook pages simultaneously.
USA Today's coverage has been putting out stalwart coverage this election cycle
The battleground states in question included Florida, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Iowa. The USA Today Network also provided coverage regarding all strata of political contest, including local and congressional races, both online and print for its 110 network sites.
Media organizations within the USA Today Network in key battleground states include the Detroit Free Press in Michigan, the Cincinnati Enquirer in Ohio, The Fort Myers News-Press in Florida, The Des Moines Register in Iowa, and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in Wisconsin.
"USA Today Network sites are split about evenly between red states and blue states, which gives us the unique ability to tap into the mood and zeitgeist of voters across the country, across the political spectrum," Mr. Torres said. "Our position on the ground allows us to cover races in depth in many of the key battleground states including Florida, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Iowa so we shared those results in real time on desktop and in app, all in a coordinated effort across the Network.
"All of our digital and mobile platforms featured real-time presidential, senate, house and governor race results and we shared live reports on various social platforms (Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, etc) from our journalists who are in markets across the network as well as with the Clinton and Trump campaigns. We also have a team of bloggers in position to track any themes, trends and buzz emerging on social."
In addition, the entire USA Today Network will be lifting paywalls and opening up all of its digital platforms on November 8-9, providing unrestricted access to all Network content. The move represents a doubling-down on political coverage on the part of the media company, coverage that has proven to be a goldmine this election cycle in no small part due to much of the media antics on both sides of the ticket.
The dedicated commitment to mobile coverage is more than likely an attempt by the USA Today Network to satiate users ardent appetite for election coverage, which has been attended to this cycle through a combination of television, online channels and social media. In supplying a mobile hub for all things election-related, The USA Today Network provided some cohesion for users to track the culmination of the most compelling news narrative in some years.
Being able to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of tonights Election coverage on mobile top priority for the USA TODAY Network," said Mr. Torres. "When results came in, we pushed them out on mobile first.
"For the first time ever, the entire USA Today Network worked as one to provide boots on the ground reporting throughout the evening. In addition to its commitment to providing our audience with real time local and national results, the USA Today Network will be lifting paywalls and opening up all of its digital platforms on November 8-9, providing unrestricted access to all Network content to ensure citizens have full access to comprehensive news coverage from the Networks award-winning teams.