Interactivity and community newspapers: a survey

September 10, 2009

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”.

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Articles on online communication by Spanish researchers

September 10, 2009

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.


Article on Storytelling, by Bryan Alexander and Alan Levine

November 3, 2008

“Stories are now open-ended, branching, hyperlinked, cross-media, participatory, exploratory, and unpredictable”. This is the definition of Web 2.0 storytelling offered by Bryan Alexander, Director of Research at the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE), USA; and Alan Levine, Chief Technology Officer for the New Media Consortium (NMC) in their article “Web 2.0 Storytelling: The emergence of a new genre“, published in the Educase Review, November-December 2008 issue.

Microcontent and social media are the two main features of Web 2.0 storytelling, say Alexander and Levine. Every small chunk of content gives a primary idea or concept. Social media means that information is organised around people, and not around hierarquies of directory trees. As a matter of fact, they propose “that the new tools and forms of online creation represent a new genre of storytelling and creative expression”, especially for higher education.

The authors has opened a wiki to invite to discussion around some questions: What is Web 2.0 storytelling? Is there really such a thing? How does Web 2.0 storytelling work within teaching and learning? What are the implications for pedagogy, curriculum, and campus life?

(Meanwhile, some other scholars are talking about Web 3.0 and its influence on online news. This is a recent text by Colin Meek published in Journalism.co.uk website).


Articles on new media

October 20, 2008

Tripodos, journal published by the Ramom Llull University of Barcelona, has published its last issue on “Windows for Information: New trends in Journalism”, coordinated by professors Pere Masip and Josep Lluís Micó.  One of the articles, Jane Singer’s “The Journalist in the Network: A Shifting Rationale for the Gatekeeping Role and the Objectivity Norm“, is written in English.

Some others are written in Spanish or Catalan. Most of them deal with convergence: for example, Ramon Salaverria and José Alberto García Avilés’ “La convergencia tecnológica en los medios de comunicación: retos para el periodismo” [“Technological convergence in the media: challenges for journalism”], as a result of ongoing project on convergence in Spain, and “Confluencia d’informatius a la Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals” [“News confluence within the Catalan Corporation of Audiovisual Media”], by Jaume Masdéu, director of Information Channels of the public radio and television of Catalonia.

Other articles are on mobile communication (Juan Miguel Aguado and Inmaculada J. Martínez’s text) or on the use of multimedia resources in the Spanish media (Pere Masip and Josep Lluís Micó’s article).


Accesibility and pdf format

October 16, 2008

Lluís Codina, professor of Pompeu Fabra University, is a colleague and friend of mine. He has a lot of articles on documentation, evaluation of web sites, e-books and some other subjects. One of them is cyberjournalism.

One of his latest articles is about the real accesibility of pdf format in online newspapers. Along with Ramón Voces, he has published an article on a Spanish ISI Journal, El profesional de la información. As a conclusion: most of the Spanish online newspapers have a pdf version, but almost half of them (47 per cent) use an old version. The rest of the, 52,2%, use a modern version of the software but do not mark the document. None of the newspaper analysed can be considered accesible.

Web accesibility, explain the authors, “is not limited nor to web pages or xhtml format”, and “potential accessibility is not real accessibility”.

Dr. Lluís Codina is responsible for Hypertext.net e-journal, co-editor of a weblog on digital documentation, and coordinator of DigiDoc Research Group.