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Social Spotlight: Washington Post's The Grid Live Coverage

by Jane Susskind, published

As part of our effort to report on social media trends, tools, and technology, we will be periodically recognizing politicians, candidates, and political organizations who are utilizing social media in effective and creative ways. 

Screenshot of the Washington Post's The Grid during last week's presidential debate

Washington Post's The Grid


Washington Post's The Grid


The big vision effectively was to be able to aggregate social in a way that was meaningful, told stories that felt very visual and sort of set the scene for the conventions themselves and really gave the user a feel that it was a live experience. - Cory Haik, Executive Producer for digital news 

Why it made the cut:

Released in August of 2012, Washington Post's The Grid provides a live stream of the social media and online conversations surrounding a political event. Most recently, the Washington Post focused in on the Presidential Debate, curating images from Instagram, tweets, articles, and video clips of the event, live online. Recognizing our growing reliance on smartphones, Ryan Kellett, National Digital Editor explains that conventional media coverage is limiting. Instead, Washington Post's The Grid provides a multitude of media to view and create the news over the course of an event.

Essentially, The Grid creates a space for viewers to see all their media in one place. It is a social media compliment to watching a debate on TV, or following a convention online. The Grid even covers sports, and is currently curating news and media for the Washington National playoffs 2012.

Washington Post's The Grid provides "lenses" through which readers can customize their experience with the news. These "lenses" offer filters and customization, allowing readers to focus on editor's picks, videos, photos, or everything curated on The Grid. The Washington Post is no stranger to mobile compatibility, and designed The Grid for accessibility and optimization.

"We started with the experience we wanted on smartphones, then scaled up to desktop browsers," Kellett adds. In this innovative curation of social media narratives, the Washington Post creates a visual online experience for readers and viewers across the nation.

Previous Grids followed the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, spanning across multiple days. The Washington Post will be covering Thursday's vice presidential debate at Centre College in Kentucky as well.


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