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Jour 3340   March 2 2010   Convergence
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Jour 3340 March 2 2010 Convergence


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Overview of how media companies structures affect their online news strategies. Key elements include discussion of how newsrooms are adapting from "top down" to "we media".

Overview of how media companies structures affect their online news strategies. Key elements include discussion of how newsrooms are adapting from "top down" to "we media".

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  • 1. University of North Texas
    Department of Journalism
    Online Journalism 3340
    March 2, 2010
    Types of Convergence
  • 2. Today’s class
    Election Day news
    Types of convergence
  • 3. Ten Key Lessons
    Don’t overload them.
    Create home pages that satisfy.
    Entice them to keep reading.
    Summarize stories on the home page.
    Include visuals with anything that matters
    Convey what’s important with a clear visual hierarchy.
    Beware of too much scrolling and clicking.
    Provide background, explanation and context.
    Provide background, explanation and context.
    Break up information into manageable chunks.
    Get rid of clutter.
  • 4. The Early Days –News Websites
    The Evolution
    Mainly straight text, no graphics
    Bulletin boards (BBS), forums ruled
    Minimal investment
    Late 70s/early 80s: VideoText
    Miami Herald: Viewtron
    Belo: BISON – Belo Information Systems On-line
    Progidy: Cowboys Content
    Knight Ridder, Tribune: $30 million
    Regurgitation: What was in print showed up online
    No staffs – Gungho geeks who become mavericks of their time
  • 5. The Miami Herald, then owned by Knight-Ridder, invested $17mm in 1984
    Dedicated keyboard/terminal that could only be used for the videotext service. This equipment cost $600 to $900; later, as personal computing caught on,Viewtron would try to sell its services via IBM, Apple, or Commodore PCs.
    A television set to display the color images, which took time to load or paint
    A monthly subscription fee of $12 (the first month was free)
    A phone line to send information back to a central computer, for which the consumer initially paid $1 an hour
    Source: “Before there was the Internet, There was Viewtron”, by Howard Finberg,
  • 6. 1993: September 2: Middlesex (Mass.) News launches first Internet gopher-based online newspaper.
  • 7. January 1994: Salt Lake Tribune opens a BBS called Utah Online.
  • 8. Types of News Websites
    What you read in the daily newspaper or see on TV is what you see on the website
    Lack of technology/content management system
    Strategic decision
    All stories written in traditional inverted pyramid style
    What are the pros & cons?
  • 9. Types of News Websites
    Periodic Updating
    Mainly shovelware with some exceptions
    Breaking News
    Sports stories/scores
    Some dedicated staff assigned
  • 10. Types of News Websites
    Continuous Updating
    Combination of shovelware and original packages
    Wire-service (AP, Reuters) operation mentality
    Sports stories/scores
    Special ‘web-only’ reports
    Extensive interactive features, graphics, including audio and video
    Full-time dedicated staff
  • 11. Corporate Structure
    Specific newspaper brands tied to the home town
    Umbrella sites
    Newhouse News’ Regional Approach
    Which approach is better? Does it matter?
  • 12. Digital Storytelling Tools
    Shovelware out, Within Media In
    It’s no place for lazy journalists
    Dig deeper, report more, drive to find more sources, quicker
    Need to be more accurate and more thorough
    Search, research and verify
  • 13. Integration
    Reproducing newspaper story as-is into newspaper
    Posting video from newscast onto the web
    “I think that the great fear was that we were all going to turn into three-headed monsters and do three times as much work in eight hours, and you just can’t. And, furthermore, you probably won’t do it that well; particularly in a market this size you can’t afford to have a mediocre person on TV or a mediocre news writer.”
    Jim Riley, Director of Operations, of
  • 14. Integration
    Great reporting + multimedia using digital media tools: your pen, paper, digital recorder, digital video camera
    Long form narrative meets digital story telling
    Fully integrated into the story assignment process
    Ability for more in-depth coverage
    Better interviews
    Greater consciousness of photos
    Selected use of video
    Fairness & accuracy still reign
  • 15. Types of Convergence
    Storytelling or presentation: Using digital tools to create new forms of story telling.
  • 16. Types of Convergence
    Storytelling or presentation: Using digital tools to create new forms of story telling.
  • 17.
  • 18. The Interactive Audience
    Shorter lines of communication between journalists and audience
    Traditional Media:
    Readers v. Non-readers
    Readers an ‘amorphous mass’
    Defined audience – by geography
    Circulation, ‘signal’
  • 19. The Interactive Audience
    Individual, personalized, direct
    Email addresses for reporters
    Tracking readers: Story by story
    Top Down
    Editors to
    Readers in
  • 20. Participatory journalism - “We Media”