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Trends in Online Journalism

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  1. Trends in Online Journalism

  2. Online Journalism • One of the biggest growth opportunities is online journalism • Web Editors often make more money than their print editor counterparts • Expectations include writing AND technical skills

  3. Jobs • Web editor and producer positions pay higher than the equivalent print positions • Web editor (Seattle) $65,000 • Web producer (Seattle) $89,000 • NOTE: The above info comes from Salary.com survey data

  4. Online Journalism Jobs • Job titles may vary, but there are typically these positions: • Web Editor • Senior Web Editor/Managing Web Editor • Web Producer • Senior Web Producer/Managing Web Producer • Other titles: • Multimedia Assignment Editor • Multimedia Assignment Producer • Presentation Editor • Internet Content Editor

  5. Recent Survey Results • Highest valued “Editing and Copyediting Skills” among New Media Content Producers: • News judgment • Grammar and style • Headline writing for the Web • Story combining/shortening

  6. Recent Survey Results • Highest valued “Content Editing Skills” among New Media Content Producers: • Photo editing • Reporting and writing original stories • Alternative story forms (polls, quizzes, etc.) • Audio production • Video production

  7. Recent Survey Results • Highest valued “attitude and intangible” skills in New Media Content Producers: • Multitasking ability • Attention to detail • Communication skills • Ability to work under time pressure

  8. Reading Habits • Reading online is typically 25% slower than print • Some “tricks” to keep a reader interested: • Layout with bullet points and bold subheads • Break longer stories into “chunks” • Include multimedia elements • Polls • Slideshows • Audio/Video

  9. Web Journalism • What works online? • Breaking news • Links to credible sources • Instant archives • Interactivity • Multimedia

  10. Storytelling or Presentation Convergence • New ways of “telling the story” are emerging • Use more than just audio, video or text • Readers/Viewers can participate • Unlimited “space” to tell the story • Non-linear structure

  11. Example • “Being A Black Man” in The Washington Post

  12. Backpack Journalism • Online journalists need to know how to write, shoot and record • They also have technology skills for posting/uploading stories online • “Backpack Journalism” = All the tools for reporting fit in your backpack • Self-contained reporter from story creation to distribution

  13. “Backpack Journalist” • Employers want to hire someone that can do it all • Write an accurate story fast • Use new media tools to tell the story

  14. Examples • KRON-TV San Francisco • Current TV

  15. Journalists Moving Online • Some established journalists are moving online to have more control over their reporting • Example: • CNN’s Daryn Kagan • Walter Cronkite blog

  16. Welcome to Web 2.0

  17. Web 2.0 • The term is subject to “hype” and remains in debate and in flux

  18. Web 2.0 • Content power shift to the masses rather than the “mass media” • Mass media is “de-massed” • It’s all about YOU

  19. Web 2.0 & Journalism • Architecture of participation • User-generated content • Blogs • Wikis • “Crowdsourcing” • Social networking sites

  20. User-Generated Content • These sites build content from the submission of users, rather than staff editors or writers • “Blogs”/Personal Journals • Photos • Podcasts • Video sharing (“Vlogs”) • Reviews/Advice • Forums

  21. Photobucket vs. Kodakgallery

  22. Beyond the Computer • Web serves as a platform for other technologies to interoperate with • Mobile devices • Home entertainment devices • Appliances

  23. Online Publishing Tools • Publishing information online has become easier due to several self-publishing tools and content management systems

  24. Example: Blogs • Popular Blog Tools • Blogger.com • LiveJournal • WordPress

  25. Blog Popularity • A new blog is started every second • Many remain unread and semi-anonymous • A few end up with a strong following • Most are not created by journalists!

  26. Who is Blogging? • Bloggers are young • More than half (54%) of bloggers are under the age of 30. • 55% of bloggers blog under a pseudonym, and 46% blog under their own name. SOURCE: PEW INSTITUTE 2006 SURVEY

  27. Is it Journalism? • Most bloggers do not think of what they do as journalism. • 34% of bloggers consider their blog a form of journalism, and 65% of bloggers do not. SOURCE: PEW INSTITUTE 2006 SURVEY

  28. Is It Journalism? • Most have not “trained” to be journalists • 57% of bloggers include links to original sources either “sometimes” or “often.” • 56% of bloggers spend extra time trying to verify facts they want to include in a post either “sometimes” or “often.” SOURCE: PEW INSTITUTE 2006 SURVEY

  29. Beyond Text • Bloggers are using more than simple words to tell their stories • 72% Photos • 30% Audio • 15% Video SOURCE: PEW INSTITUTE 2006 SURVEY

  30. “Moblogging” • Mobile phone blogging • Instant “on location” blogging via one’s mobile phone • Photo share publishing “on the go” • Uses camera phones to see what the publisher sees instantly

  31. “Moblogging” • Mobile phone blogging • Instant “on location” blogging via one’s mobile phone • Photo share publishing “on the go” • Uses camera phones to see what the publisher sees instantly

  32. Moblogs and Breaking News • U.S. east coast blackout • London subway terrorist bombing

  33. User-controlled News • Internet users like to have some control over the media they consume • Personalized news • Peer-recommended news • “Open-source” news

  34. Personalized News • Google News • No editors are employed • Uses traffic analysis and readership patterns to determine what is most newsworthy

  35. Peer-recommended News • Digg.com • Readers “vote” on what they like • Highest votes = highest news placement on site

  36. “Open-Source” News • OhMyNews • Huge in South Korea • Expanded to international audience • 41,000 “citizen reporters” • 20% of content created in-house by only 55 staff reporters

  37. “Open-Source” News • WikiNews • User-created news reports • Collaborative editing by peers • A Russian-language version is now available

  38. Mainstream News Dominates • Independent news is thriving, but mainstream news still dominates online • Top U.S. news sites: • 1. Yahoo! News • 2. MSNBC • 3. AOL News • 4. CNN • 5. The New York Times SOURCE: 9/7/2006 COMSCORE REPORT

  39. Mainstream News Blogs • Mainstream news outlets are adapting their own blogs • The New York Times • The Washington Post • CBS News • MSNBC

  40. The Aggregators • News site aggregators have proven to be very popular…and influential • They do not write news, but they do create headlines and selectively choose which stories get coverage

  41. The Aggregators • Drudge Report • Conservative in nature • Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton Scandal • Huffington Post • Liberal response to Drudge Report

  42. The Aggregators • Beyond news, there are several popular aggregate blog sites for specific areas of interest • Examples: • Technorati.com • BoingBoing.net

  43. “Crowdsourcing” • “Crowdsourcing” is a new trend in online journalism that has many supporters and skeptics

  44. What is “Crowdsourcing?” • A collaborative form of reporting • Each contributor researches and contributes a component to the overall piece • The actual story may or may not be written by a collaborator • Content is usually overseen by a centralized editor

  45. “Pro-Am” Journalism • Crowdsourcing is often referred to as “pro-am journalism” • A combination of both professional and amateur contributions

  46. Examples of “Crowdsourcing” • In Journalism: • Wired.com and NYU: AssignmentZero.com • Minnesota Public Radio: Public Insight Journalism

  47. Gannett Restructuring • Major media company Gannett restructured most of its print and Web operations to include “crowdsourcing” in Nov. 2006 • “Information Centers” • Gannett is the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S. (by circulation)

  48. Pros • Community involvement • Transparency of reporting process • Micro-reporting of events and developments normally missed by mainstream media • “Hyper-local” reporting • Builds valuable “database” of content • Tomorrow’s “reporters” may also be “database managers”

  49. Cons • “Amateur” reporting has its risks • Majority rules • Stories only developed because users ask for it (or participate in it) • Subject to manipulation • Political or personal agendas might inspire disproportionate coverage of particular issues • Staff reporters might lose some value