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WEEK 10: Does online news production challenge journalists’ ability to behave ethically and/or to comply with existing legislation (copyright, defamation, etc)?

Hiler initially scorned the values and mechanisms of journalists and their work (Hiler). He, however, lists and compares the differences between opinionated blogs or amateur journalism and the work of ‘real journalists’ who have to abide by the
‘journalism Code of Ethics,’ whether on or off line (Hiler). The list covers areas such as being peer-reviewed, avoiding bias, submitting to editorial control, remaining objective, and other responsibilities of journalism (Hiler).

According to Higgins however, these guideline are not enough (Higgins, 2008). “Sophisticated new marketing and commercialisation techniques’ have to be considered in the evolution of online journalism, and this in turn, challenges the journalism code and standards (Higgins, 2008). Therefore, the mighty dollar or advertising, dictates the survival of the medium, especially in a competitive world.

In terms of defamation, the crucial question that has to be asked is, “Is the published material defamatory?” and that applies to print and online work (Pearson, 2007). The fact that ‘media publish highly defamatory material each day,’ provides the
journalist with little comfort (Pearson, 2007).

References

Hiler, John, Are Bloggers Journalists? On the rise of Amateur Jorunalism and the need for a Blogging Code of Ethics.

http://www.microcontentnews.com/articles/bloggingjournalism.htm

Viewed April 2011

Higgin, David 2008, Scooped by the Net, The Walkeley Magazine

Pearson, Mark 2007, The Journalist’s Guide To Media Law : Dealing with Legal and Etical Issue, 3 E, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest.

WEEK 9: How have new technologies changed the news production process and how do these changes impact on society?

According to Barr, the once distinct boundaries between telecommunications, media and computing, have blurred and intermingled into what is termed as convergence (Barr, 2000) And this convergence process is a definite influence in the expansion and growth of new media (Barr, 2000).

Since digitalisation, information can be transmitted online via voice, data, video, graphics and music and these modes of communication are being handled at an increasing and rapid rate (Barr, 2000).

These modes encourage interactivity on the part of the reader. Links in stories, allows the user to further research the subject at hand, and if so inclined (Nielsen, 1997). Commentary boxes invite the viewer to analyse or express their opinion (Higgins, 2008) . Immediacy requires regular updates and user search terms dictate the content (Higgins, 2008).

News can be accessed via mobiles, laptops and online. The variety and means in this technologically savvy world, means that the user demands, expects and also generates content.

 

References

Barr, Trevor 2000, The Changing Face of Australia’s media and Communications, “Forces for change: Communications as catalyst, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards.

Higgins, David, Scooped by the net, The Walkley Magazine, Viewed March 2011 http://www.gnews.net.au/Walkley1.pdf

Nielsen, Jakob 1997, How Users Read on the Web (Alertbox)

https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_96048_1&frame=top

Viewed March 2011

 

WEEK 8: How has online news production changed the way we engage with sport and sporting organisations? Why?

According to Alysen, Australians in particular are passionate about and fixated with sport, and each season brings an ‘insatiable thirst for news on our competitors’, or, ‘the latest on the sport and individual clubs’.(Alysen, 2003).

While the ‘big business’ of sport provides ample material and more for the sport journalist, writers have to contend with competition from the incessant coverage on pay and free-to-air television (Alysen, 2003). The online news journalist is expected to report live, edit, and produce the coverage (Schultz, 2005) Live and up-to-the-minute coverage provides immediacy, continual updates of the score, and re-plays of the highlights.

Australian fans can access live coverage via renowned sites such as ABC sports which cover games from cricket, AFL, rugby league and union, football, tennis, golf, basketball and more (ABC Sports, 2011). The viewer expects and is privileged to receive features such as video footage, audio results and feature photos.  The drawcard is ABC’s fresh and ‘just in’ coverage, or promise of  a ‘90 seconds’ video summary of sports news that will satisfy any viewer’s demand for the very latest (ABC Sports, 2011). Viewers and sport fans are then more discerning and expect more of the coverage, and the media, in response, have little choice but to comply.

References and Bibliography

Alysen, B et al 2003, Reporting in a Multimedia World, Allen & Unwin.

Schultz, Bradley E. 2005, Sports Media: Reporting, Producing and Planning 2 E, Focal Press, Oxford.

ABC Grandstand Sport

http://www.abc.net.au/sport/all/audio/

Viewed 3 May 2011

WEEK 7: How do social media and traditional media converge in online news sites?

According to the dictionary and Wikipedia, the term social media incorporates means of communication, through accessible, mobile and web-based technologies. It is a combination of social interaction and technology.

While print or online news is disseminated at considerable expense and resources, social media is accessible, reasonably affordable and available to individuals (Wiki).

Online media include links to facebook, or twitter or to share news via messenger. The user can either ‘recommend’ the site, the story or the views, and the application then appears on their page. Interactive commentary can also take place when readers leave their analysis or opinion of the article and content.

In incorporating social media to online news article, it enhances what would ordinarily be a passive medium into an active one (Nielsen, 2008). The social networking aspect also means that users spend more time on the news site (Poynter Research).

References

Nielsen, Jakob 2008, Writing Style for Print vs Web (Alertbox)

https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_96048_1&frame=top

Viewed March 2011

Stanford Poynter Project

Viewed March 2011

http://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset,jsp?tab=cpurses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_96408_1&frame=top

Social Media

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media

Viewed May 2011

Week 6: Evaluate the different production elements used in an online site i.e. links, layout, style, use of audio-visual elements, headline, graphics and language. How are these elements used to engage the audience?

In both mediums, print and online, journalists have to engage the reader. In online news however, it is best to capture the interest of the user with ‘visuals and verbal information,’ or a package of photos and graphics. (Rich 1997, p.27).  And graphics can include maps, fact boxes and illustrations, as well as photos (Rich 1997, p.29).

According to the Eye Trac research results, readers’ eyes initially focus on colour photographs, followed by headlines, cutlines or captions, briefs, sub headlines and large type print of quotations (Rich 1997, p. 27). In terms of headlines, BBC news is renowned for its ‘remarkable headline usability,’ which on average is limited to 5 words and 34 characters (Nielsen 2009).

The use of ‘high-quality graphics, good writing and the use of outbound hypertext links is also encouraged (Nielsen 1997).’ The old fashioned requirements of good, quality writing cannot be dismissed as the reader’s main aim is to access useful or relevant information as quickly as possible (Nielsen 1997).

Users however, scan rather than actually read texts and prefer the writings to be short and to the point (Morkes & Nielsen 1998). Online sites are therefore encouraged to use concise, scannable and objective texts (Morkes & Nielsen 1997) to attract readers and to also improve usability.

Studies have revealed that use of scannable, concise and objective writing styles, positively assists in users’ performance and satisfaction (Nielsen 1997) and this in turn will continue to engage and attract more readers to online news.

References:

Morkes, John & Nielsen, Jakob 1997, Concise, SCANNABLE, and Objective: How to Write for the Web

Viewed April 2011

http://www.useit.com/papers/webwriting/writing.html

Nielsen, Jakob 1998, Applying Writing Guidelines to Web Pages

Viewed April 2011

http://www.useit.com/papers/webwriting/rewriting.html

Nielsen, Jakob 2009, World’s Best Headlines: BBC News

Viewed April 2011

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/headlines-bbc.html

Rich, C 1997, Writing and Reporting News: Changing Concepts of News

Viewed March 2011

https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_96048_1&frame=top

WEEK 5: Compare the differences between a news print story to one that is published on an online news site.

The Sydney Morning Herald (smh) online news article on the murder of 72 year old Nancy Brayshaw, initially appeared as ‘breaking news,’ via an AAP report by Britt Smith. In keeping with the online process of immediacy through regular updates (Higgins), the 29th March story is replaced by one submitted by smh staff reporter Louise Hall the next day. Hall’s report is also displayed on the newspaper edition on the same day, the 30th March and is a word for word copy. A photograph of the victim with the caption, ‘murdered,’ alongside, is displayed on both the print and the internet versions and is another tactic
to lure the reader in (Stanford Poynter Research).

Smith’s headline, ‘Bank teller admits to customer’s murder,’ has impact with its simplicity and clarity, and it captures the reader’s attention (Stanford Poynter Research). The title also provides the first piece of information to the online reader (Wallace, 1999) Providing important information with short and concise sentences draws and holds the attention of multi-tasking readers, and the online article follows the guideline (Higgins). While the print title of, ‘Teller stole $115,000, killed woman’, is effective enough, it is not as clear as Smith’s headline.

Notable differences between the original online report and the print story, centre around descriptive details of the alleged attacks. The initial online story mentions ‘surgical slippers’; ‘a plastic bag’; ‘ripped off her underpants; and ‘scratching her on
the neck and arm’, which are details missing on both of Hall’s online report and print story. Although online users read ‘shallow and wide’, these extra details hopefully, entice the reader to pursue the topic in depth (Stanford Poynter Research). Crime stories, carry conflict, is timely and has immediacy, and fits into the category of ‘hard news’(Rich, 1997) And this appeals to both print and internet news readers.

References

Bank Teller admits to customer’s murder

Viewed April 2011

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/bank-teller-admits-to-customers-murder-20110329-1celo.html

 

Higgins, David, News Online and Writing for the Web

Viewed March/April 2011

 

Rich, C 1997, Writing and Reporting News: Changing concept of New

Viewed March/April 2011

https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_96048_1&frame=top

 

Stanford Poynter Project

Viewed April 2011

https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_96048_1&frame=top

 

Teller stole $115,000, killed woman

Viewed April2011

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/teller-stole-115000-killed-woman-20110329-1cet3.html

 

Wallace, Nathan 1999, Web Writing for Many Interest Levels

Viewed March 2011

https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_96048_1&frame=top

WEEK 4: How do work conditions and approaches differ between a journalist working in an online
environment and those working in a more traditional broadcast or print setting?

While there are still some work conditions common to print media, broadcast and online news production, the gap is steadily widening. Material is gathered in the traditional manner, which is via media alerts; from doing the court, social, political or local government rounds, and from unexpected, breaking news on natural disasters or tragedies. The aim, where print news is concerned, is to meet deadlines (Conley, 166).

According to online Editor David Higgins however, there are ‘no deadlines’ for online news sites, due to the ‘regular updates and user generated opinion and comment’ feedbacks (Higgins, p.18, NOL 1).

In terms of news worthiness, Conley’s eight standard values still apply to both print and online news (Conley, p.42). And although the inverted pyramid is common to both print and online news, the basics of good writing is still a necessary component. Educators warn that the basics of grammar, story structure and quality journalism still matter to both the online and offline mediums and should never be ignored (Pryor, 2006).

Online news however, should not be a substitute of print news and according to John Pavlik, ‘the best news sites are those offering original material designed for the web,’ (Conley 2002, p.311). There is also an emphasis on the article layout and the
use of interactivity (NOL 1).

The web being an active and interactive medium, has users who are engaged and are often multitasking (Nielsen, 2008, NOL 6). Online writers then, are advised to write succinctly while avoiding padding of words and to structure the sentences in a short, concise and clear manner (Nielsen, 2008). Journalists are further advised to use the active voice as ‘it breathes life
into your story’ (Nielsen, 2008).

These sound measures may not however, be enough to meet the competing demands on the online readers’ time and their need for speedier access to essential information (NOL 6).

The Poynter Institute suggest rewriting headlines and captions to attract the eye’s focus into the story, as this may be the ‘first and only opportunity’ to capture the reader or user (NOL 5). Once the reader is engaged however, and despite reading ‘shallow and wide,’ the topics or articles are generally read in-depth (Stanford Poynter Research).

While the future of newspapers has editors concerned (Hirst & Harrison 2007, p. 93), online news readers increased a further 50 percent to 15 million Australian users in 2007 (Higgins, p.16). In heeding the aforementioned, industry experts’ advice, the online industry may yet continue to survive and expand.

References:

Conley, David 2002, The Daily Miracle: An Introduction to Journalism 2E, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne

Higgins, David, Scooped by the net, The Walkley Magazine, Viewed March 2011 http://www.gnews.net.au/Walkley1.pdf

Hirst, Martin & Harrison, John 2007, Communication and New Media: From Broadcast to Narrowcast, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne

News On Line and Writing for the Web

Viewed March 2011

https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_96048_1&frame=top

Nielsen, Jakob 2008, Writing Style for Print vs. Web

Viewed March 2011

https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_96048_1&frame=top

Pryor, Larry 2006, Teaching the future of journalism in The Online Journalism Review

http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/060212pryor/

Viewed March 2011

Stanford Poynter Project Viewed March 2011 https://learning.secure.griffith.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab=courses&url=/bin/common/course.pl?course_id=_96048_1&frame=top

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