Monday, November 27, 2006

Compilation of articles about 'interactivity'

One of the first purposes of my Ph.D.-research is to analyse the different online news media and to make a typology, based on the key features of the internet: multimediality, interactivity and hypertextuality. This compilation made by M. McAdams is a great help if one wants to read a selection of great articles and chapters about interactivity. I did it and it helped me a lot to understand the complex concept of interactivity.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Television = best news medium?

Here and here are some nice insights into the opinions of news makers about the added value of new media formats. On the Westminster Media forum (14 november 2006), the assistant editor of Channel 4, Martin Fewell, suggested that blogs and other user-generated content will not be a threat but instead will be a complementary to traditional news. Fair enough, but what about this:
Appointment-to-view television news would, as he suggest, remain the best way for people to engage with news.
This is somewhat the discourse of most of the traditional news media: the online media are indeed a threat, but if we just embrace them a little bit, we would be stronger than ever before. The news media give us some opportunities to make the traditional media better. By saying that television news is still the best way to engage in news, he's in my opinion missing the opportunities of the new media. It is no use anymore to speak in terms of best medium or medium that would engage people the most. There is no 'the people' anymore, like is no 'mass' out there. One could get or engage with news in a way he or she likes best. Indeed, many citizens still consume television news, like many other go online for stay aware of the world. Maybe most citizens combine traditional media with new news media. For online news consumers, the statement that television is the best way to engage with news should sound strange. I guess it makes them even laugh.

But Martin Fewell has also got some opinions about transforming traditional content to its online counterpart, which is interesting for my research project. Earlier this year, he stated that:

"Delivering video content online requires a different approach; the experience of watching video on a PC, for example, is not the same as watching video on TV. It requires us to think slightly differently about the nature of that video - how that video links across to text, to other contributions from reporters, or to the background of a piece."

"Publishers and broadcasters initially had a naive approach to the web. When the internet took off, there was the naïve view that you'd take TV, radio or print content and shove it out in a different medium. Podcasting is another challenge for broadcasters, and one that should be more than just time-shifting radio content. The BBC has taken chunks of radio and turned them into podcasts. It's great content and a good way to listen for some people, but not really using the content in a new way."

Indeed, the online environment is not just the online copy-environment of the traditional media, but instead a platform (I don' like the word platform, can someone please suggest me another, more unequivocal concept?) with specific features, orders and effects. Watching video on television is not the same as watching video online. It demands a different process of viewing, the ppossibilitiesare different and eventually, the generated effect will be different.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Using CMC to announce cancer

Not only people like you and me use forms of computer-mediated communication (cmc) like blogs and fora, also VIP's do.
Kim Clijsters has been using her diary to announce some important messages to her fans, like the announcement that she'll stop playing tennis in 2007. A few days ago, Darlene Conley, better known as Sally Spectra from The Bold and the Beautiful, ordered the director of the television company to post a message on the discussion board on the TBATB-website to inform the fans that she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Exact 7 days later, 7 years in journalism, the Flemish media covered the item.

Interactive election results in online newspapers

In this article, flash experts discuss the use of flash animations in the presentation of the U.S. Elections of 2006. Also in Flemish Newspapers, the use of flash is common. Newspapers like De Standaard, Gazet van Antwerpen en Het Laatste Nieuws presented the results of the local elections of October 2006 in interactive flash animations.
The flash map of De Standaard opens with a general overview of the results of Flanders. But one can click on a city to see the specific results. It is also possible to ask for a trend analysis (200-2006) and an overview of the preferential votes. Another handy feature is the presentation of related articles when selected a specific city.
I've been looking for screen shots of ways of presenting results of past elections (e.g. local elections of October 8, 2000 and federal and European elections of June 13, 2004). The waybackmachine usually is a great help for this sort of tasks, but I seem not to reach my goal for the moment. Or the server is down, or the pages are not indexed. I'll keep trying during the next days. If someone has by any chance screenshots of earlier election presentations: mail me!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The start: Ph.D-project about online news media

This blog is made up to publish some thoughts and publications about my Ph.D-project: "Multimediality, interactivity and hypertextuality in online news media - the effect on objective and subjective knowledge."

Interactivity, multimediality, user-generated content, hypertextuality, immediacy, etc. are buzzwords nowadays. Indeed, there are some very interesting revolutions ongoing online. Since the start of the success of the internet (medio '90), the online news media have been evolving continuously. People are able to choose what content they want to consume and when, to react on news items and even to publish information on their own without being a professional journalist (interaction). News media are not restricted to text anymore when covering a news issue. Online journalists can make use of video, animated presentations, sounds recordings and so on to cover the news in the best possible way, according to the content of the issue and the target group (multimediality). At last, online news messages are linked to other bits and chunks of information by hyperlinks and often provide an archive with related items or stories (hypertextuality). These three formal features are the key-features of the internet in general and have always existed online. However, it is clear that during the last 10 years, these features have been undergoing some radically changes. Interactivity in '95 is not the same as interactivity in 2006 as multimediality in '95 was not as in 2006.

Together with the evolving features of online news media , the online media landscape and, both as a consequence and catalyst of these changes, the patron of media consumption have been changed. Especially with the upcoming success of news blogs, RSS-feeds, wikinews, news alerts, etc., the online news media have become an interesting research topic.
The main questions of my research are:
1) What are the online news media?
2) What are the key features of the online news media?
3) What online news media do students consume?
4) What cognitive processes are in play when consuming this online news media?
5) What is the effect of the features of online news on objective knowledge?
6) What is the effect of the features of online news on subjective knowledge?

My promotor for this Ph.D.-project is Prof. dr. L. d'Haenens (K.U.Leuven). The research will be finished in 2009. Feel free to ask me some questions and to send me further suggestions about this topic.
Add to Technorati Favorites