Alberta’s first female premier: Covering the swearing-in ceremony via social media

On Oct. 7, Alison Redford was sworn in as Alberta’s first female premier, and I was assigned to “live Tweet” the event for The Edmonton Journal.

On one hand, this isn’t a totally new way of covering an event for me; as part of Postmedia’s team, we  used Twitter to cover the Royal Wedding in London this spring. As well, when I was assigned to the provincial affairs beat at The Journal, I was one of the first reporters to use Twitter to find stories, talk to sources and cover events happening inside the Legislature chamber such as debate over Bill 44, a controversial piece of human rights legislation.

Nonetheless, it speaks to a new, digital-first mode of news coverage. The Tweets are an engaging way of covering a live event for print reporters — my Twitter timeline is below — and ultimately contribute to this story.

(#ableg is the hashtag for Alberta’s provincial legislature; #Redford is the hashtag for the new premier; #yeg is the hashtag for Edmonton.)

9 a.m. Alta’s 1st female premier to be sworn in today at #ableg I’ll be live-tweeting, follow #Redford

This column from @Graham_Journal sets up today’s swearing-in #ableg #redford

10 a.m. Setting up the #ableg rotunda for #Redford‘s swearing-in

About 100 seats on main floor for invited guests, standing room 2nd level for public #ableg #Redford

11 a.m. On other floors of #ableg, closed-circuit TVs so staff can watch #Redford‘s swearing-in ceremony

Spouses, [including] Glen Jermyn, #Redford‘s husband, and Marie Stelmach, to arrive at 1050 am #ableg

Another picture from inside #ableg in preparation for #Redford‘s swearing-in, which starts 11 am

Stelmach hands in his resignation letter at 11:10 am, according to ceremony plan given to media #ableg #Redford

At 11:15 am, #Redford takes Oath of Office, the whole event to wrap by 11:30 #ableg

#Redford just walked along 2nd level of #ableg to clapping of those gathered

12-yr-old Sneh Yadav, from Calgary, says “it’ll be cool to see a girl leader now” #Redford #ableg

Sneh drove up with dad Dave last night, she’s friends with #Redford‘s daughter Sarah, they had [breakfast] together this morning #ableg

#Redford family friend Marina Mason flew in from Calgary this a.m., says “she’s always been a leader in everything she’s done” #ableg
Bill and Marion Leithead drove 2 hrs from Bawlf this am to see #Redford sworn in; they volunteered for 4 months to see this day #ableg
“We’re [very] happy,” says Bill Leithead, Marion adds, “it’s what she deserves” #ableg #Redford
Inside #ableg, most [people] wearing suits, dresses; it’s a little different from Stelmach’s 2006 swearing-in #Redford
Nazek Cayai, 64, of #yeg, said she was excited to come to #ableg today for #Redford‘s swearing-in, to see a female prem
A hush has fallen over #ableg #Redford
Spouses are seated #ableg #Redford
Children up in the balcony, MLAs seated, pipers on the stairs #ableg #Redford
Before Ed Stelmach’s 2006 swearing-in on the #ableg steps, ceremonies were indoors. #Redford
Lougheed, Getty and Klein were sworn in at [Government] House, in 1971, 1985 and 1992 respectively. #ableg #Redford
All standing, piping, cheering and “woo”ing. A taller person [could] tell you if #Redford had arrived in rotunda 🙂 #ableg
Rev. David Choka talks about setting future for province, being a leader of leaders #Redford #ableg
The [reverend] talks about #Redford being granted wisdom, decisiveness, perseverence #ableg
Stelmach tenders resignation, [Lieut-Gov.] Ethell accepts #ableg #Redford
Applause at Stelmach’s recommendation #Redford take over #ableg
#Redford‘s middle name is Marilla Merrilla? And she’s taken the Oath of Office #ableg
Kids on the 2nd level are leaning over railings to get pics taken – mostly young girls #ableg #Redford
#Redford thanks guests, particularly children #ableg – says when this started she [couldn’t] imagine standing as 14th [premier]
Of this journey, she says, “it began as many of life’s journeys do with my mother” #Redford #ableg
#Redford says her own daughter Sarah has been both wise and supportive beyond her years, thanks her husband Glen for his support #ableg
#Redford thanks her [family] for showing her the world, “and best of all they brought me to Alberta” #ableg
#Redford also thanks Stelmach, who gets standing applause, [she] says he has led by example, supported her as rookie MLA #ableg
Her win [isn’t] a sea change, #Redford says, but Alta politics catching up with Alberta – and soon after ends her speech, to applause #ableg
A little error in order – LtGov Ethell was supposed to go first, jokes he’d be fired now if he answered to #Redford instead of queen #ableg
Ethell thanks Ed and Marie Stelmach, wishes them happy retirement #ableg #Redford
Ethell takes on Churchill quote, talks about #Redford‘s courage, strength of character, her fight against apartheid, other foreign service
#Redford‘s personal loss, her mother’s death, very much on people’s minds, Ethell says it showed what she’s made of in last wks #ableg
Verlyn Olson presents #Redford with bible on behalf of executive council #ableg
Vice regal party now leaving… Again a taller person could tell you more… But there’s piping #ableg #Redford
And that’s all – refreshments in the lej, #Redford out #ableg
Leaving the #ableg rotunda, #Redford hugged her daughter Sarah quite close – it’s a lot of bodies jammed in here, a lot for a 12 nine-yr-old?
A friend of #Redford‘s, Natalie McFadden, says new prem unlikely to have been nervous today, “She’s just got it together” #ableg
5 p.m. Fun #Redford facts: At 46, she’s the 4th-youngest premier of Alta. In 1943 Manning was 34; 1925 Brownlee was 42; 1971 Lougheed was 43 #ableg
#Redford is also Alta’s 5th prem-turned-lawyer: Before her, Rutherford 1905, Sifton 1910, Brownlee 1925 and Lougheed 1971 #ableg

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