The impact of recession on European media

September 21, 2009

edjsA 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.


Spanish internauts don’t wanna pay: the case of ElPais.com

September 14, 2009
el_pais_no_pagarSeptember 11th, 2009: one of the most important digital newspapers in Spain, ElPais.com, asks their readers/internauts whether they would agree to pay for “quality contents”. September 14th, 2009, three days later, the answer is a clear “no”. The survey says that just 12% of the readers agree with the proposal, and 86% don’t want to pay for the journalistc contents of the newspaper, even though if they are “quality contents” (are not quality contents all the news offered by the newspaper and its website?).
This kind of surveys (journalism professor always insists on it in the classroom) are not scientific at all. But they can be meaningful, at least.
By the way, what do readers and newspapers (i.e., Elpais.com) consider “quality contents”?

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”.


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.


Blogs and journalists: a survey

October 16, 2008

Paul Bradshaw’s Online Journalism Blog publishes the third part of “Blogging Journalists“, a survey on how blogging is changing journalism. “The networked, iterative and conversational nature of the blog format is changing how many journalists work in a number of ways”, says this study’s author.

The first part wan on context and methodology, the second one on how blogs affected journalists generate story ideas. The third part investigates in which way blogs have affected story researching.

As a result of the third part of the survey, Bradshaw conclude that “the nature of the relationship appears to be different, in that it is a two-way, ongoing process.” Sometimes, “this collaboration becomes a form of crowdsourcing”. Most journalists, according to the survey, find it easier to find sources who don’t come from a government agency or professional association”, but on the other hand “the pressure to publish meant more reliance on rumours, and less rigorous research” so the readers have “to clarify and fact-check.”

A fourth part of the survey is forthcoming, and it will deal on how blogging affects information gathering for a story.

Paul Bradshaw is Senior Lecturer in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University’s (UK) School of Media.