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ISOJ 2010

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  1. 1.     Multimedia and Interactivity on Newspaper Websites: A Multi-Study Analysis of Six English-Speaking Countries Robert Bergland Lisa Crawford Sarah Noe David Hon Online Journalism Symposium 2010
  2. 2. Problem/Purpose of study Shortage of studies which compare different countries Different methodologies used in various studies makes true country-to-country comparisons problematic Goal: To examine several countries using a similar methodology
  3. 3. Brief Literature Overview Some key newspaper website studies: • Peng et al 1999 survey and 80-site analysis • Greer & Mensing’s 1997-2003 U.S. longitudinal study • Sparks, Young and Darnell 2003 analysis of 113 Canadian news sites • Bivings Group’s 2006 Top 100 circulation U.S. papers • Hashim et al 2007 study of 12 Australian newspapers • Russial’s 2009 survey of 210 U.S. daily newspapers
  4. 4. Research Questions RQ1: What are the levels of interactivity and multimedia within the individual countries? RQ2: What impact does circulation have on presence of interactive/multimedia features? RQ3: How do these countries compare in their newspapers’ use of multimedia/interactivity? RQ4: Is there a connection between computer ownership/broadband in the countries and their newspapers’ use of these features?
  5. 5. Methodology Looked at top six English-speaking countries where English was the first/dominant language: U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand  Survey methodology (a la Russial) was considered, but dismissed: Concerns over response rate, reliable contact information, cost, time Chosen method: One-pass website analysis employed by Bivings Group, Darnell/Sparks/Young
  6. 6. Methodology ● Process Team reviewed literature, examined websites to create 25-feature taxonomy for U.S. 2007 study; added 7 features in 2008 study of the other countries Compiled lists of newspapers for each country from Editor and Publisher directory Used random sampling of U.S. papers (360, every fourth, of 1437 U.S. dailies), with a +/- 4.5% margin of error Used all of newspapers from other countries, eliminating duplicate sites (Note: only 12/60 Australian papers coded in time window) Conducted pilot/inter-rater reliability test (95% in 2007; 96% in 2008) of 10 websites Coded data over a one-month period
  7. 7. Number of Newspapers studied US: 360* (Random sample—25%) UK: 117 Canada: 100 Ireland: 9 New Zealand: 24 Australia: 12* (of 60)
  8. 8. General categories
  9. 9. Sample Spreadsheet
  10. 10. Results: Impact of Size U.K./Ireland Newspapers Sites
  11. 11. Results: Impact of Size U.S. Newspapers Sites
  12. 12. Results: Impact of Size Canadian Newspapers Sites (blue under 50K; red over 50K)
  13. 13. Results: Multimedia
  14. 14. Results: Multimedia
  15. 15. Results: Multimedia
  16. 16. Results: Multimedia
  17. 17. Results: MM/Interactivity
  18. 18. Results: Interactivity
  19. 19. Results: Interactivity
  20. 20. Results: Interactivity
  21. 21. Results: Interactivity
  22. 22. Results: Distribution
  23. 23. Connection Between Computer Ownership/Broadband Penetration In some countries, there seems to be a direct connection between computer ownership/broadband and the ability and motivation for newspapers to put multimedia and interactivity on their websites. Ex: Ukraine with 1.7% broadband penetration in 2008, had very little multimedia especially in a 2009 study:
  24. 24. Connection Between Computer Ownership/Broadband Penetration • Not much of a connection in English-speaking countries studied • U.S./U.K. numbers were fairly similar in many categories --Too little difference in CO/BP to judge, esp given year gap • Canada, with highest % of computer ownership and higher than U.S. broadband, had some of the lowest rates of multimedia/interactivity • New Zealand did show some connection, with the lowest rates of CO/BP and also the lowest amount of multimedia/interactivity
  25. 25. Computer Ownership 2006
  26. 26. Broadband Penetration 2008
  27. 27. So what explains the difference? Perhaps • Economic Factors: Resources -Personnel -Equipment/Software • Economic Factors: Ownership/chains • Social Factors--Computer usage and expectations of users • Focus of management • Journalism education/training
  28. 28. Limitations of study/Future research Weakness of content analysis vs survey One-pass vs multipass—might not have viewed site on typical day Redo study in 2011, looking at all sites during the same period for equal comparison