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International Journalists to Live-Blog on Election Night

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fifty reporters from 46 countries will get a front-row seat to history on November 6 as they cover election night from the United States for their audiences back home. They will live-blog stories from the polls in battleground states using an exciting new tool, the Global Editors Network's (GEN) Live Desk platform.

The journalists are participating in the Elections 2012 Visiting Journalists Program, a project run by the International Center for Journalists and funded by the U.S. Department of State Foreign Press Center. The reporters are positioned in critical states— Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin and others—for two weeks leading up to the election. This experience will allow them to provide their home audiences with firsthand reports on the voters, the key campaign issues and the candidates themselves. The participants have also been invited to submit stories to The Huffington Post.

"There is no better time for international reporters to witness U.S. democracy in action than during a tightly contested presidential election," said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan. "Audiences around the world will gain an up-close and vivid look at our electoral process."

Prior to going out in the field, the journalists met with seasoned U.S. political reporters, election scholars and digital media trainers in Washington, D.C. These sessions were designed to provide context and skills for the reporters, many visiting the United States for the first time.

Using the real-time, collaborative storytelling tool GEN Live Desk, the journalists will provide on-scene reports to home audiences through an embedded feed on ICFJ's website.

The tool, created by the GEN Editors' Lab program (which is sponsored by Google) and the non-profit software development organization Sourcefabric, aggregates social media content into a single stream, helping reporters disseminate breaking news from multiple platforms. GEN Live Desk's source code is available to download free of charge, and the service will be available to the general public in 2013 for a monthly fee.

"From the beginning, GEN Live Desk was built with journalists at the heart of our activities. We received heavy input from the BBC, the Guardian, Le Monde and other media organizations in order to create a product which journalists can use to efficiently cover breaking stories. We are delighted the beta version of GEN Live Desk will be implemented in the Elections 2012 Visiting Journalists Program during this critical point in live news," said Bertrand Pecquerie, GEN CEO.

The live-blog will be posted on November 6 at www.icfj.org/elections-live.

ICFJ advances quality journalism worldwide. Our hands-on programs combine the best professional practices with new technologies. We believe that responsible journalism empowers citizens and holds governments accountable. For more information, go to www.icfj.org.

The Global Editors Network (GEN) is a non-profit association committed to the principles of innovation and information sharing in the newsroom. GEN empowers editors-in-chief, senior news executives and media professionals from all platforms by creating new ideas and journalistic tools, allowing quality journalism to thrive. For more information, go to www.globaleditorsnetwork.org.

Sourcefabric is a Czech non-profit organization that builds open source tools for journalists, newsrooms and radio stations. In 2010, Sourcefabric launched as an autonomous organization that propelled it into the ranks of the largest European open source projects for news and media. Visit www.sourcefabric.org.

SOURCE International Center for Journalists

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