Online Journalism – Class Notes Feb5 2008


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Prof. Neil Foote's Class Notes for Feb. 5

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Online Journalism – Class Notes Feb5 2008

  1. 1. Online Journalism – JOUR 3340 Class Notes – Engaging Readers Feb. 5, 2008 Prof. Foote
  2. 2. Today’s Agenda <ul><li>Super Tuesday – Engaging Readers </li></ul><ul><li>What Are Media Doing to Capture Readers Online & Offline </li></ul>
  3. 3. What’s Good? What Works? <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>National Journal – The Money Tracker </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Early Days – News Websites <ul><li>The Evolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainly straight text, no graphics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bulletin boards (BBS), forums ruled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Late 70s/early 80s: VideoText </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Miami Herald: Viewtron </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Belo: BISON – Belo Information Systems On-line </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Progidy: Cowboys Content </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knight Ridder, Tribune: $30 million </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regurgitation: What was in print showed up online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No staffs – Gungho geeks who become mavericks of their time </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>A television set to display the color images, which took time to load or paint </li></ul><ul><li>A monthly subscription fee of $12 (the first month was free) </li></ul><ul><li>A phone line to send information back to a central computer, for which the consumer initially paid $1 an hour </li></ul>Source: “Before there was the Internet, There was Viewtron”, by Howard Finberg, The Miami Herald, then owned by Knight-Ridder, invested $17mm in 1984
  6. 6. 1993: September 2: Middlesex (Mass.) News launches first Internet gopher-based online newspaper .
  7. 7. January 1994: Salt Lake Tribune opens a BBS called Utah Online.
  8. 8. Who and What is Competing for Traditional Media’s Audience? Local Newspaper/ TV Station Weeklies Magazines Local Websites Cable ISPs Direct Mail Bill Boards TV Yellow Pages Radio TelCos Software Cos. Time Work Family Videos Movies Housework
  9. 11. The Interactive Audience <ul><li>Shorter lines of communication between journalists and audience </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Media: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Readers v. Non-readers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Readers an ‘amorphous mass’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defined audience – by geography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Circulation, ‘signal’ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 12. The Interactive Audience <ul><li>Now: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual, personalized, direct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email addresses for reporters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tracking readers: Story by story </li></ul></ul>Top Down Editors to Readers Readers in Control Audience Participation
  11. 13. Interactive tools <ul><li>Web polls </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion forums </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Personalization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo, Google </li></ul></ul>
  12. 15. Participatory journalism - “We Media”
  13. 18. Types of News Websites <ul><li>Shovelware </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What you read in the daily newspaper or see on TV is what you see on the website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Staffing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of technology/content management system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic decision </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All stories written in traditional inverted pyramid style </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the pros & cons? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 19. Types of News Websites <ul><li>Periodic Updating </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainly shovelware with some exceptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Breaking News </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sports stories/scores </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some dedicated staff assigned </li></ul></ul>
  15. 20. Types of News Websites <ul><li>Continuous Updating </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Combination of shovelware and original packages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wire-service (AP, Reuters) operation mentality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sports stories/scores </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special ‘web-only’ reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensive interactive features, graphics, including audio and video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full-time dedicated staff </li></ul></ul>
  16. 21. Corporate Structure <ul><li>Specific newspaper brands tied to the home town </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Umbrella sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Newhouse News’ Regional Approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Which approach is better? Does it matter? </li></ul>