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Portal and the News Media Brian Dunbar Nov. 4, 2003 News Media Satisfaction Ratings News media make up 1 to 2 percent of portal visitors. Why is this important? For reporters new to NASA (e.g., on Feb. 1, 2003), the Web site creates an impression of NASA.

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Portal and the news media l.jpg

Portal and the News Media

Brian Dunbar

Nov. 4, 2003


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News Media Satisfaction Ratings

News media make up 1 to 2 percent of portal visitors.


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Why is this important?

  • For reporters new to NASA (e.g., on Feb. 1, 2003), the Web site creates an impression of NASA.

  • “It behooves the company to make their Web site easier to use. You immediately begin to hate the company when it’s not.”

Source: Coyne and Nielsen, “Designing Web Sites to Maximize Press Relations”, March 2001


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News Media Comments: Like Most

  • “Details of interplanetary flights”

  • “for space tech editor of college paper has the best way to check for and find more info on something”

  • “the speedness in publishing new releases and findings and the completness in releasing text and photos from space missions”


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News Media Comments: Like Least

  • Difficulty in finding information re: procuring public domain video of launches.

  • I couldn't find information, or least I have yet to find information as to why certain shuttles were retired. . . . I'm still looking and I may find it but its not as easy and some of the information that I have currently found.

  • I4d like to see more extended features about e.g. Jupiter4s moon Europe or LISA ... functionality, researchre4s interview4s .. more deep insight


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News Media Comments: Like Least

  • lacks depth of information! for example, where are images we see on CNN of Iraqis oil fires. The sire is not current or relevant for newsmedia. the center sites are far better.

  • does not have a good search engine or an explanation of all the sources to go to for NASA images--I just found the NSSDC!


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News Media Comments: Like Least

  • with exception of shuttle columbia info, too hard to find information that is more technical in nature and essential source material to most hard-core space reporters. and what is that stupid animated introduction all about?

  • The Nasa Spanish translation service


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News Media Comments: Like Least

  • easy to get lost with all the different organiztional windows that pop up. Not sure how you would solve this with all the different pieces that make up NASA though. Catch 22.

  • i can never find the spaceflight links at the top when i want them and have a hard time getting from pao.ksc (which hasn't worked on occasion) to other parts, i end up going in circles


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News Media Comments: Like Least

  • the difficulty in searching things. press releases and general public pages should be indexed differently from the pages who deal with material for scientists, researchers and employees only

  • the search engine is efficient but not practic for firs time users


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Top 5 Reasons Media Visit Websites

  • Find a press contact

  • Check basic facts

  • Find organization’s take on events

  • Check financial information

  • Download images for use in print story

Source: Coyne and Nielsen, “Designing Web Sites to Maximize Press Relations”, March 2001


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Nielsen/Norman Study

  • 15 U.S. journalists, 5 in Denmark.

  • Performed tasks on designated sites.

  • Resulted in 32 guidelines for designing Web sites for media (3 NA to NASA)

  • NASA practices meet most or all of each guideline.


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Where We Meet N/N Guidelines

  • Provide top-level link to press section.

  • Provide contact info on every press release

  • Provide contact info on press section of Web site

    • N/N rec. personal e-mail address. NASA does not include.

  • Do not require journalists to register.

  • Site known to major search engines.

  • URL is easily guessed, provided user knows to add “.gov” instead of “.com”


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Where We Don’t

  • We don’t publish individual press contact’s e-mail address.

  • We don’t use Web site to solicit/respond to journalists’ e-mail queries.

  • We use multimedia demos.

  • We use PDF.


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Where We Don’t (cont’d)

  • We don’t provide links to third-party articles about NASA.

    • Provides “verification” for skeptical journalists.

  • No search of press-material only.

  • No consistent look across site (NASA-wide).

  • Heavy graphics

  • No explicit “print-friendly version”.


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How Can We Improve? (Short-term)

  • Provide media “shortcut”

    • “For Media” URL in press material

    • Bypasses Flash movies

  • Investigate “news only” search

    • Need to be clear on where news material (releases, status reports, press kits)

    • Ensure all news material is being posted to the portal.

  • Continue other efforts to improve search


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    How Can We Improve? (Long-Term)

    • Bring all NASA news/features into portal

    • Assess media desires

      • Mix of long-term NASA reporters and relative newcomers

        • Interviews

        • Formal user tests

      • Restructure media site according to feedback

    • Evaluate usefulness of other N/N guidelines

    • Balance needs of media against other audiences’


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