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DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES
DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES
DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES
DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES
DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES
DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES
DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES
DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES
DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES
DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES
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DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES

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On the internet, the pluralism of information is supposed to result from the multiplicity of sources. The web is expected to offer a wider range of contents than offline media (as developed in the …

On the internet, the pluralism of information is supposed to result from the multiplicity of sources. The web is expected to offer a wider range of contents than offline media (as developed in the Long Tail theory). But such an assumption requires to be proved by empirical evidence. Our research aims to test this hypothesis on the basis of a transdisciplinary quantitative study of French speaking websites. Based on several thousands of articles coming from different categories of websites, the editorial identification of topical issues and the lexicometric analysis of the titles both highlight a more complex situation. The wide diversity of issues dealt with, during a day on the web, simultaneously presents a high concentration of a few major issues, often treated in a redundant way. These results show that the ideal of pluralism that the internet is supposed to embody needs to be put into perspective.

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  • 1. International conference New media and information: convergences & divergences 6-9 May 2009, Athens, Greece DOES THE LONG TAIL APPLY TO ONLINE NEWS? A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF FRENCH SPEAKING NEWS WEBSITES Emmanuel Marty, Franck Rebillard & Nikos Smyrnaios LERASS, University of Toulouse 3 ELICO, University of Lyon 2
  • 2. Research questions The web is generally considered as the paragon of cultural and informational diversity => The Long Tail Theory & institutionnal reports - Open nature of the Internet Protocol - Low distribution costs compared to offline - Aggregation of world wide niche markets Has the agenda effect disappeared when it comes to online media? Does quantitative growth of online information circulation necessarily mean online news is more diverse? International conference NEW MEDIA AND INFORMATION: CONVERGENCES & DIVERGENCES 6-9 may 2009; Athens, Greece
  • 3. Methodology Our research aims to answer those questions through a transdisciplinary quantitative study of French speaking news websites: -Representative sample of news sites with seven categories: newsmedia and press agencies, weblogs, webzines, participatory journalism sites, portals and aggregators. -Survey of a total of 80 websites -Used a semi-automated process of extraction of article titles and descriptions through RSS feeds -Crawling took place between 1 and 20 November 2008 -Tenths of thousands of titles and descriptions in our data base - Applied three levels of analysis to our data International conference NEW MEDIA AND INFORMATION: CONVERGENCES & DIVERGENCES 6-9 may 2009; Athens, Greece
  • 4. A first overview of online news production L emm a countT itle L emm a countDesc The most frequent oba m a 2825 avoir 28463 lemmas are related do   tre 2197 tre 20923 the Obama election A 2113 p rˇsident 3982 fra nce 1562 oba m a 3708 which dominated the avoir 1545 pre mi er 3676 web agenda through the Ps 1396 source 3265 20 days period sncf 1143 ba rac k 3027 royal 992 m ard i 3013 crise 947 faire 2977 F reque ncy of top t en F reque ncy of top t en lemm as in the ar ticle titles lemm as in the ar ticle descr iptions News production related to Obama reach its peak on election day and follows the line of events International conference NEW MEDIA AND INFORMATION: CONVERGENCES & DIVERGENCES 6-9 may 2009; Athens, Greece
  • 5. Variety and balance among topics 6th of november 2008 10th of november 2008 2617 titles, 385 topics 2040 titles, 309 topics Average of 7 titles per topic Average of 7 titles per topic Most frequent topics on both days Number Number Most frequent topics of the % of Most frequent topics of the % of of of November 10 sample sample November 6 sample sample articles articles The French Socialist Party Obama’s election 435 16,62% after the congress 129 6,32% Obama and Bush meeting in The congress of the French the White House 114 5,59% Socialist party 187 7,15% Sabotage in French rail 112 5,49% International institutions facing the financial crisis 178 6,80% Goncourt (litterature prize) awarded toAtiq Rahimi 108 5,29% Stock market 121 4,62% The situation in République Rail strike in France 120 4,59% Démocratique du Congo 83 4,07% International conference NEW MEDIA AND INFORMATION: CONVERGENCES & DIVERGENCES 6-9 may 2009; Athens, Greece
  • 6. Variety and balance among topics Repartition of articles per topic: a very unequal structure, close to the Pareto distribution (the 20/80 rule) 20% of the topics include 81% of the titles 20% of the topics include 82% of the titles Repartition of articles per topic Repartition of articles per topic (November 10th, 2008) (November 6th, 2008) 150 150 140 140 130 130 120 120 110 110 N u m b e r o f a rt ic l e s N u m b e r o f a rt i c le s 100 100 90 90 80 80 70 70 60 60 50 50 40 40 30 30 20 20 10 10 0 0 s 39 s -s -s -s -s -s -s -s -s 11 s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s 3 6 90 61 68 20 47 28 43 57 86 4- - - 1 7 4 7 4 2 5 9 9 3 7 0 7 1 3 0 9 4 2 4 7- 3- 2- 3- 1- 9- 2- 2- 0- 9- 3- 1- 3- 8- 0- 6- 6- 7- 1- 6- 1- 4- 4- 1- 3- 9- 2- 7- 12 32 19 27 49 33 43 58 69 85 s- s- 29 22 29 25 13 24 11 15 11 14 15 17 18 20 21 23 24 26 28 30 28 22 29 13 36 23 15 33 14 21 27 12 16 17 19 20 22 24 26 27 28 31 32 33 37 38 s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- s- Topics Topics 236 of the 309 topics include less than 301 of the 385 topics include less than 5 titles each 5 titles each International conference NEW MEDIA AND INFORMATION: CONVERGENCES & DIVERGENCES 6-9 may 2009; Athens, Greece
  • 7. Lexical and editorial redundancy among topics A strong correlation between editorial and lexical redundancy Number of titles Segments on november 6 Frequency of for corresponding the repeated topic segment Japon des tissus cérébraux créés à partir de cellules souches 28 28 Obama le premier président noir élu face à des défis colossaux 27 435 perpétuité pour le beau père 30 ans pour la mère 23 51 Les marchés replongent malgré une baisse des taux en Europe 21 121 Segments on november 10 Frequency of Number of titles the repeated for corresponding segment topic attentat à Bagdad fait 28 morts et des dizaines de blessés 46 66 Le Goncourt à l Afghan Atiq Rahimi le Renaudot au Guinéen 33 108 SNCF nouvel acte de malveillance le parquet anti terroriste saisi 23 112 Etats Unis Obama doit rencontrer Bush à la Maison Blanche 23 114 Most frequent repeated segments of at least ten words on November 6 and 10 International conference NEW MEDIA AND INFORMATION: CONVERGENCES & DIVERGENCES 6-9 may 2009; Athens, Greece
  • 8. Lexical and editorial redundancy among sources Redundancy - Portals: MSN News, Yahoo News, Orange News, and the AFP press agency - TV & Radio websites: France 2 and France 3 (Tv), RTL (radio) Diversity - Free dailies (20Minutes, Métro); radio digital outlets(RFI and and lexical RMC), digital version of the magazine Nouvel Observateur banality - Electronic versions of print media, weekly or daily ( Le Point, Les Echos, Libération, Le Monde) - Citizen journalism website (Agoravox, The Post), webzine (Backchich) & blogs Pluralism International conference NEW MEDIA AND INFORMATION: CONVERGENCES & DIVERGENCES 6-9 may 2009; Athens, Greece
  • 9. Conclusion The agenda effect is still very strong on the web In many cases quantitative growth of information results to concentration on a few dominant issues and to stereotyped treatment Pluralism actors seem to be emerging but are still marginal -Web’s technical structure favors reproduction of information -Economic conditions of online newsrooms: low cost and high productivity leads to desk journalism, rewriting and republishing existing material at the expense of original content - Low distribution costs online but still high production costs Offered diversity (spectrum of issues) Vs. Consummed diversity International conference NEW MEDIA AND INFORMATION: CONVERGENCES & DIVERGENCES 6-9 may 2009; Athens, Greece
  • 10. Thanks! Εσταριστούμε για την προσοτή σας Full text : http://nikos.smyrnaios.free.fr/Marty_Rebillard_Smyrnaios_Athens_2009.pdf International conference NEW MEDIA AND INFORMATION: CONVERGENCES & DIVERGENCES 6-9 may 2009; Athens, Greece

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