Better News: LA Times Creates Compelling Virtual Events During Pandemic

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The Los Angeles Times has a long history of hosting successful in-person events. Its annual Festival of Books, for example, draws more than 150,000 people every spring. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, many of those events were at risk of being canceled.

The Times' audience engagement director, Samantha Melbourneweaver, and live events editor, Donna Wares, recently wrote a piece for the Better News initiative about how the L.A. Times built a compelling series of virtual events during the pandemic.

In this episode of Better News, Melbourneweaver and Wares tell host Michael O'Connell what worked and what didn't work. They also share advice on how other newsrooms can develop their own successful live events strategies.

The Better News podcast is a partnership between It’s All Journalism and the American Press Institute to a) showcase innovative/experimental ideas that emerge from the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund and b) share replicable strategies and tactics that benefit the news industry as a whole. Sign up for the Better News newsletter to receive news about the latest resources, case studies, and insights. For more news about the It’s All Journalism podcast and future episodes of Better News, sign up for the weekly IAJ newsletter.

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