2013: A record breaking year as the Ipswich Star pushes forward with digital revolution

The Ipswich Star's new YouTube video page

The Ipswich Star's new YouTube video page - Credit: Archant

Live from-the-scene coverage, shareable videos and interactive content - in 2013 we wanted to make sure we were not only first with the news but also had the most in-depth, comprehensive and engaging stories.

The Ipswich Star ran live coverage of the tidal surge in December

The Ipswich Star ran live coverage of the tidal surge in December - Credit: Archant

This year the team behind the Ipswich Star refocused the digital offerings including our website, social media channels and video stream to ensure that we could offer you a fuller package when it comes to breaking news, and encourage you to be part of the storytelling.

We were tested to the limits on several occasions, and the most memorable occasion came in October when St Jude’s storm ripped the fascia off The Mill building on the Waterfront and wreaked havoc across the county.

Defying warnings not to travel, our team of reporters and photographers were at key locations around the county, capturing the storm as it tore through.

We offered video footage, first-person accounts and live updates via our Twitter channel twitter.com/ipswichstar24.A gallery of photos showing damage to the Ipswich Waterfront, which was published just moments after the eye of the storm passed, attracted more than 25,000 page views.

While photos sent in by you, our loyal readers, generated a further 23,000 page views on our website.

That day we smashed all previous records, there were 36,280 unique visitors to the website and between them they consumed just under 250,000 pages.

When the tidal surge hit earlier this month, we were more than ready to leap into action and our team of reporters worked tirelessly through the night to update our website, run a live feed and push updates through our social media channels to ensure readers were aware of the latest forecasts, evacuation plans and breaches as high tide hit the various coastal communities in East Anglia.

And the next morning, as Ipswich woke to scenes of carnage, our readers once again turned to us for stories on the trail of disaster left behind, the heroic rescues and the fears for the subsequent high tides.

This year we wanted to engage more with our loyal readers via social media and set ourselves the challenge of strengthening those communities, we now have nearly 5,000 likes on our Facebook page and have just passed 8,000 followers on Twitter who not only use social media to keep up with the headlines but also to contribute to the news.

When Tony Stone had an issue with the council charging him rent on his dead mother’s flat, he posted on our Twitter feed, and later agreed to be interviewed for a story.Thanks to the arrival of five new reporters - spread between our district offices and our main base in Ipswich - we have also been able to improve our news coverage, both in print and online.

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Our sports team have offered a live post-match web chat after almost all Ipswich Town games, giving you the chance to put yourself in the manager’s shoes, to share your favourite moments and ask the reporters their views.

For the latest news, follow us on Twitter @IpswichStar24 or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ipswichstar24

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