On June 25, 2013, Texas state Senator Wendy Davis spent nearly 11 hours on the chamber floor filibustering a bill that would have restricted access to abortion in her state. The speech drew the national eye to Austin, and many of the watchers followed the action live on a video hosted by The Texas Tribune. “We were one of the only ones carrying this early version of the livestream, which went viral,” says Tribune editor in chief Emily Ramshaw.
The Tribune’s stream drew nearly 200,000 viewers by the end of the evening. That virality was powerful: Davis quickly became the face of the pro-choice movement; the pink sneakers she wore during the filibuster became the bestselling shoe on Amazon for a time; and that fall, boosted by the attention, Davis launched a campaign for governor.