“Why do not you skip my question?” », “I’m trying my luck for the fifteenth time …”, “I’m censored”, “You always publish the same! »etc Every time The world covers a live event so that its readers can ask questions in real time, we receive a number of contributions of this kind, more or less cordial. The direct surveillance of the war in Ukraine, uninterrupted since the night between Wednesday, February 23, to Thursday, February 24, is no exception to this rule.
For more than ten years, The world covers live events governed by three main principles: rigor, responsiveness, and interactivity. As with all the content we publish, we have always been committed to putting the accuracy and clarity of information before speed. If the latter logically remains an essential element during the real-time coverage of an event, we will always prefer to arrive a little later than our colleagues, but with reliable and certified information. A rule that has become particularly essential when the news (and our “lives” with it) particularly concerned terrorist attacks.
This warning can sometimes lead to frustration or impatience, but in most cases, if something you have read elsewhere has not been published in our direct, it is because we have not (or have not yet) been able to verify it or understand its full extent. It is also possible that the answer has already been given a few hours earlier (do not hesitate to return to the live thread before asking your question), or that it is available elsewhere on our site, in one of the many articles that we publish every day about the war in Ukraine.
We also sometimes have purely practical and human limitations when the staff at certain times of the day and especially at night are smaller and do not allow us to monitor the news and answer questions as much as we would like.
Either way, we strive to always maintain this interactivity and this connection with the readers to whom we are attached; almost all questions are well read, except in very intense news peaks where the flow of contributions is so great that it becomes impossible to keep up. Since February 24, we have received a total of almost 80,000 questions and comments, averaging about 2,600 a day.
We were able to see, in the course of daily life at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, in March 2020, how important it was to offer an exchange point and answers to citizens who were concerned or lost in health rules, which changed every week.
Unfortunately, the attention we place on the contributions also applies to the few unpleasant comments that we receive from time to time in a reprimanding, mocking tone or sometimes bordering on insulting, and which can forcefully burden the serenity of the journalists’ work, which change to 24 hours a day to inform you live.
This is also an opportunity to clarify that these journalists are not specialists in the war, Ukraine or Russia, but generalist journalists whose first area of expertise is real-time treatment of current affairs in accordance with the strictness rules mentioned above. But the longer the war lasts, the more some of the questions received are extremely precise, even pointed, and we are not always able to answer them right away. That’s why we organize chats with specialists as often as possible, whether they are external contributors (like this exchange with Michel Goya, historian and former soldier) or journalists from our editorial staff (Tuesday, three of them answered your questions about economic consequences of the war). We also regularly send the most frequently asked questions to the specialized editors, then compose and update articles that gather the answers to your main questions.
Finally, some of the questions received almost correspond to prediction or divination; many of you want to know the future and know the end of the story (and that’s understandable). “What if…?” », “How will such a situation develop?”, “What does such a leader think?” etc However, it is a very delicate exercise, if not impossible, for a journalist to lend himself to topical fiction based on hypotheses. In a situation like this, where the war also takes place in the field of information and influence, it seems to us more than ever crucial to limit ourselves as much as possible to real and proven facts.
The staff changes to a live “world”
- About fifteen editors twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week;
- 6 deputy editors;
- 12 reviewers for proofreading both live and “desktop” articles (read our article on this topic);
- 6 “home editors” (HE) to constantly update the website for World ;
- 3 “social media editors” (SMEs) to bring The world on social networks;
- 2 iconographers to contact the mobilized photographers and post the latest photos from the field;
- 6 journalists from the Infographic Department (4 cartographers and 2 researchers), in order to produce situation maps, which are posted daily in the livestream.