The students of Journalism of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona do, once or twice a year, a professional news covering of a properly organised event. This year, the first professional simulation day is about a press conference given at the UPF by Alan D. Solomont, US ambassador in Spain. Future journalists have done it in a excellent way -in the humble opinion of their teachers- both in an Catalan/Spanish language blog and in an English-language one, in Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and using an streaming video service.
A research group from the National University of Comahue, in the Argentinian Patagonia, has launched a new book on online journalism. Dr Alejandro Rost, who wrote his doctoral thesis on interactivity (La interactividad en el periódico digital [Interactivity in digital newspapers, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, 2006), has participated in this book about hypertext, multimedia, participation and interactivity in Argentinian online media. The new book is entitled Periodismo digital en la Argentina [Online Journalism in Argentina].
Some other researchers of Comahue University, a research group conducted by professor Juan Carlos Bergonzi, have written the chapters of this book. It is the first time that a research group in Argentina makes such an empirical research on this subject. The book shows a complete landscape of online journalism in one of the greatest Latin American countries. Chapters include:
Argentina, the digital way (Juan Carlos Bergonzi)
Society and the Net (Juan Carlos Bergonzi)
On the Web, paper format. Digital newspapers in inner Argentina (María Teresa Bernardi, Fabián Bergero)
Trying to take off from paper. Ten years of Río Negro online (Alejandro Rost, Viviana García)
Hiperlinks and participation in Río Negro online (Alejandro Rost. Viviana García)
How do users navigate in online news websites (Alejandro Rost, María Emilia Pugni Reta, Ezequiel Apesteguía)
BERGONZI, Juan Carlos, Alejandro ROST, Fabián BERGERO, María Teresa BERNARDI, Viviana GARCÍA y María Emilia PUGNI RETA.
Periodismo digital en la Argentina. Diseño, interactividad, hipertexto y multimedialidad en sitios de noticias. General Roca: Publifadecs, 2008.
A recent study titled European Digital Journalism Study, based on a survey done amongst 350 journalist of seven European countries reveals the enormous impact that the recessions has had on the media -specially on advertising. The study shows also the pressure the journalists are living to adapt themselves to an ever growing channel abundance -Twitter mentioned as an example: 62% of the British journalists use it, and only 12% of the Spanish ones. Exclusive have become more important, that is the opinion of 41,25% of the journalists asked.
The survey, carried on for the second year by a communication agencies alliance (Oriella PR Network), remarks how the PROs need to think like journalists and see the Internet as a challenge for journalism.
The study has been compared to another one carried out by a team of the University of Leipzig conducted by professor Ansgar Zerfass. “Journalism in Europe is facing turbulent times” -says professor Zerfass-, journalist predict “a sharp decline of printed media” and 75% of them think they will be forced to adopt new routines. More than 58% of the journalists who have answer to the European Digital Journalism Study think that the number of printed media will shrink dramatically, almost 55% of them think that the editorial quality will erode because of the lak of resources, and, at the same time, 52,26% of the journalists of the UK, Belgium, Spain, Sweden think that “online media are still far from being profitable business models”
“It is time to change the mindset”, concludes professor Ansgar Zerfass.
Google no renuncia a ofrecer noticias digitales extraídas de otros medios, a los que remite mediante hiperenlaces. El servicio Google News, que ha causado quejas de diversos diarios de todo el mundo -en Bélgica presentaron una demanda-, y cuyas ventajas han tratado de explicar, se completa a partir de hoy con un servicio de momento experimental: Fast Flip.
La noticia la dio ayer el fundador de Google News, Khrishna Barat. El servicio captura imágenes de diversos sitios web informativos y permite a los usuarios “hojearlas”, así como seguir personas o temas concretos. Varios medios de referencia -todos ellos, de momento, en inglés- pueden consultarse en este servicio. Entre ellos, por ejemplo, el Washington Post, BBC News y The New York Times.
Fast Flio cuenta también con una versión para dospositivos móviles, que funciona tanto en iPhone como en aquellos teléfonos que cuenten con el sistema operativo de Google, Android.
The last issue of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication publishes another article on online journalism:
Chung, Deborah S.; Nah, Seungahn. “The effects of interactive news presentation pf perceived user satisfaction of online community newspapers”. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14 (2009), 855-874.
Amongst the findings of the research, conducted focusing on Kentucky (USA) online newspapers having a circulation of less than 50,000, “they indicate that indeed news audiences perceive their news consumption experiences to be positive when they are engaged by frequently using various interactive features. Correlation analysis shows that there is a robust relationship between the use of various interactive features and perceived satisfaction. In general, interactive features were used in moderation”.
The authors distinguish four types of interactive feature usage: customization (content submissions, letters to the editor, e-mail bylines), personalization (search, alerts, RSS, e-newsletters), choice features (audio, video, webcam) and interpersonal features (forums, chats, blogs, Q&A). According to the survey, “online news audiences use interactive features moderately to somewhat infrequently”, and “content submission features were used most frequently”.
Finally, the authors underline that althoug most of the literature “indicates the critical need for dialogical journalism, the interpersonal features of a news sites did not increase perceived satisfaction amongst users”, since “online community news audiences do not consider online newspapers to serve as a place for interpersonal communication”.
Recently the new issues of two important journals on communication have been published. Both of them have a couple of articles written by researchers of Spanish universities -or article in which Spanish researchers take part.
New Media & Society (Vol. 11, No. 6, September 2009) publishes an article by Carlos Scolari, currently teaching at the Universities of Vic and Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) entitled “Mapping conversations about new media: the theoretical field of digital communication” (New Media Society 2009;11 943-964). Born in Argentina, Scolari studied at the Catholic Unievrsity of Milano (Italy) before moving to Spain, where he has conducted a brilliant research on the theoretical aspects of digital communication.
The second article has been published by the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and in it a group of Spanish researcher have taken part -although just one name appears, Ramón Salaverria. A survey was conducted in several digital newspapers in four European countries, including Spain. The Spanish surveys was conducted by researchers from the University of the Basque Country (Dr Koldo Meso and Dr Ainara Larrondo), Santiago de Compostela, Málaga and Navarre, even though the mention to their work has completeley disappeared from the final text for unknown reasons.
Fortunati, L.; Sarrica, M.; O’Sullivan, J.; Balcytiene, A.; Harro-Loit, H.; Macgregor, Ph.; Roussou, N.; Salvarria, R.; de Luca, F. (2009), “The Influence of the Internet on European Journalism”, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 14(4), August: 928-963.