Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Innovative online magazines

Few minutes ago, I read an interesting article about innovative online magazines. It seems that indeed this kind of magazines are making more use of the possibilities of online features than do (traditional) digital newspapers. Take a close look at the examples, they are very nice and show what really is possible online.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Immersive videos

I wonder if online journalists are investigating the possibilities of this kind of innovative videos. These videos make it possible to pan across the 360° view. Not only useful for sports coverage, but in my opnion for almost every story that deserves a video. Until today, the multimedia features of the online news stay rather traditional. If online news want to be really innovative, they can start using this feature. Wonder which online news medium will be the first to use this kind of videos and how long it will take.

Ps. the picture is the camera used for the immersive videos. Looks expensive to me!

JOSTA: Journalism Studies Antwerp

Few days ago, we opened the JOSTA research platform at the Lessius University College. JOSTA, which stands for JOurnalism STudies Antwerp, is the research group of the Master in Journalism. One of the interesting things at JOSTA is the JOSTA-lab which makes it possible to study and analyse the production and reception of traditional and online news media. I'm looking forward to use this lab for all kinds of studies..

Visited the Netherlands

Three weeks ago, I visited the Netherlands for three days. On the first day, I gave three guest courses at the University of Leiden in the bachelor and master of the department of linguistics (option: journalism and new media). One of the three was a seminar about my Ph.D., more precisely about how we should consider and study the internet. It was a pleasure for me visiting this university and giving these three lectures, especially because the students seemed to be very interested and kept on asking questions afterwords. I don't want to speak in stereotypes, but this experience learned me that students in the Netherlands are totally different (read: more assertive) from those in Flanders. I also want to thank the collegues for giving me a pleasant stay. Funny detail: I slept in this hotel, which is the same hotel where Mark Deuze stays when visiting Leiden for his courses.

The day after, I travelled to Groningen where I gave two parallel workshops about CAR (Computer Assisted reporting) at the VVOJ Conference. The subject of my workshop was 'finding people with the use of social media' (download powerpoint here). Both workshops where 'sold out' which made it extra pleasant. The day after, I sat for about 8 hours on a train from Groningen to Antwerp, which wasn't pleasant at all ;-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What's another message?

Today, one can read two messages about the same subject on about the fact that a desk job increases the risk to get cancer. Not only the fact that the two messages tell more or less the same story based on the same study of prof. Hamilton, also the fact that these two messages are located near each other on the website surprises me. Indeed, it happens sometimes that in a print paper, two messages about the same subject are presented, but most of the times, this happens when a short message about for example a transfer of a soccer player is announced on the general sports pages and the same transfer is covered on the regional pages with more background and an interview. But in this specefic case, or the webmaster, or the journalist(s) should have seen that the (same) story was already on the news website and that it would be better to delete one of the messages. The fact that this didn't happened is perhaps because of the stories are written by tho different journalists (bf) and (edp) and that maybe the two stories were uploaded at the same moment. Does this also mean that two different journalists are paid to tell the same story?

UPDATE: during the writing of this blogpost, has deleted one of the messages. And no, I didn't call them ;-)

Monday, November 5, 2007

The risk of using Youtube movies

Using Youtube movies to illustrate or cover a news story online, can be of great value ... except when the movie isn't available anymore like in this example. The problem with online movies is that the control over content is no longer with the journalists but in the hands of the user who can choose to withdraw his/her movie from the youtube platform.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Local news at a simple glace (update)

Few days ago, Jan Martynowski, one of the online journalists of Concentra (the publisher of the two regional newspapers and sent me an email to draw my attention on a new application recently started. Since the newspaper's focus is on regional and local news, online readers can insert their postal code to get referred to the news from their neigbourhood. Since few days, it is not only possible to select the news based on the postal code. A google map makes it able to visualize the region and to select the news by clicking on on specified city or village and further on by clicking at a specific news item (which are represented by flags on the map). Users can select which neigbourhood, which period and which type of news (e.g. general news, fire, theft, accident) they want to see on their screen.

In my opinion, the option provided by the newspaper to choose between a postal code or a google map is the right one. Perhaps they should focus even more on the latter option, since clicking on a map is more tempting then inserting a postal code. It provides the news at a simple glace on the google map. Can it be easier? I wonder how long it will take until the other regional newspaper,, will adopt this great feature.

Update: It seems that also Het Nieuwsblad Online started to use this kind of feature. As predicted, also already uses maps to visualize local news.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ECREA symposium @ Brussels

Today, I presented a paper at the ECREA symposium in Brussels on "The Myth of the Global Internet", organised by the Free University of Brussels. In 'speaking of meta; questioning the internet as a homogeneorus and global news medium', I discussed some of my theoretical approaches and conclusions from the content analysis and online survey I conducted during the last two years.

Since there were not all too many participants, the discussions after the presentations was more profound than this is usually the case. I especially enjoyed the lecture and critical thoughts of today's keynote speaker, Prof. Andrew Calabrese. I also want to thank Prof. Van Audenhove and Prof. Morganti for inviting me at this symposium.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Refering from online to offline

Maybe not as unusual as it seems to be at first glance, but I found it rather strange to read this article on
It is kind of a teaser for an article in the print edition of the newspaper. In the end of the online article, the journalist writes 'more in Gazet van Anwterpen' (= the offline paper). Normally, print papers refer to the online digital paper to provide extra information, but in this case, the opposite is true. As I read this article around midnight, I also wonder in which edition of the newspaper I can read this article: today's print newspaper or that of tomorrow?

The immediacy of online news

Live, minute-to-minute coverage of the Police concert in Antwerp on
We've already seen this with all kinds of sports activities, but in my opinion, this is the first time with regard to a music concert in Belgium. If not, let me know!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Collaboration between De Standaard en Luc Tuymans (few remarks)

Yesterday, Luc Tuymans (famous Belgian painter) worked at the print paper of De Standaard. His task was to select and provide pictures to illustrate the news stories. The result is great, as we can see in today's newspaper.
This visit got a lot of attention on the Standaard Online, the digital newspaper of De Standaard. It is nice to see that the online journalists have provided a photo-tray, some audio fragments, a discussion forum about the special print paper, and so on.
There are, however, two things I don't fully understand:

The first question I have is why De Standaard Online uses Youtube to present some video fragments. Due to the limited storage capacities of the Youtube server, the quality is not fantastic. Not a problem for most of the video stories as we are all happy to see some action, the quality is of secondary importance. But since Luc Tuymans was at the editorial office and since someone of De Standaard should have filmed the movie, then why not uploading the video without using Youtube in order to have better quality? Why not using flash-movies or integrated movies like on

Secondly, I don't understand why Luc's pictures only were used for the print edition of the paper and not for the online counterpart. Probably because one could fear that if the pictures were already used during the day on the digital paper, less people would buy the print paper the day after. Personally, I think that this type of cannibalism is overestimated, especially with regard to pictures.

Thirdly, Luc Tuymans state that he's using online news media for foreign news, but that he prefers to read print papers when looking for national news, since print papers 'provides more space for nuances and complex theories'. Since one of the key features of the online news and the internet in general is the unlimited space for publication and the possibility to link different kinds of information by the use of internal and external hyperlinks, I think this stereotype of 'the online news as shallow and limited with regard to complex information' is remarkable. There can be two reasons for this stereotype: it can be that the internet is not fully making use of the potentialities of the digital environment and that the online journalists are putting limited information online. Or, news readers do make limited use of the potentialities of the internet, not making fully use of all the online sub-media like links, discussion fora, news blogs and other that are related to a news story.
To illustrate this with the Luc Tuymans story itself: online news consumers can read, listen, see and even discuss the collaboration between De Standaard and Luc Tuymans. There's online much more to consume than in the print paper about Luc Tuymans, with even links to other works of this Belgian painter. In my opinion, most of the digital news papers in Belgium are providing enough links, media, and communication possibilities to consume the news in a non-limited or non-shallow way. Things can only be better, but if I need some background, I can be satisfied with the information I can found online. We just need to get rid of these kinds of non-nuanced and non-complex stereotypes as if the online news is shallow and limited, perhaps by learning the authors of these expressions to use the online news in an appropriate way.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Website about Freedom of Information in Europe

In turn for all the good work 'Fonds Pascal Decroos' does for young, investigative students and journalists, I'm happy to advertise for their press conference in Brussels next week about the start of their website about the Freedom of Information Act in Europe.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First in print, then online

Interesting quote today in this article on The journalist note that these specific stories about a trip to Russia appear first in the print paper and will be afterwards published online.

Few remarks:

1) Why not publishing the news on the same day as the print edition? Will there be less buyers of the print paper when these specific stories also appear online (cannibalism)?
2) If so, why not focussing on both the print and online version. It seems like the business model based on advertising is becoming more profitable; the New York Times for example realised that it can earn more money by making the content free, or as a director of a media research firm stated after the news was made public:

The business model for advertising revenue, versus subscriber revenue, is so much more attractive,” he said. “The hybrid model has some potential, but in the long run, the advertising side will dominate.

3) More or less, these articles have the same content, same pictures, same (sub)titles, same structure, same layout as the offline counterparts. Why not adjusting these features to the online environment? In some way, we can speak of shovelware, a term which defines the information that is dumped onto the website without changed content or enhanced content.

Farcasting the news

Since februari 2007, and are experimenting with Farcast, a mobile service/platform that reporters can use to send text, pictures and videos from location to the digital news site. They can also send their gps coordinates so that the news site can show a map with the exact location of action. This example whows how great farscast can be in regional reporting.

The site of Farcast stresses that "with the introduction of the Farcast application, and are now, more than ever, the absolute frontrunner in fast, accurate, multimedia news. With Farcast, ‘Gazet van Antwerpen’ and ‘Het belang van Limburg’ have taken an important step in the further development of their websites."

I think it is indeed a great step towards a fully multimedia coverage of news items.
Knowing that has this hard- and software at his disposal, one could wonder why the site is still using unclear and simplistic maps like this one when they have farcast.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The power of Youtube-news

Telling that Youtube movies are very popular is nothing new. Also I can loose myself for few hours in watching some stupid, funny, intelligent youtube-movies on the platform. Yet it is remarkable how fast a youtube-movie circulates around the web and how fast digital news media implement that same video on their website.

A Youtube movie which shows a presenter who throws up live during the show was presented today on at least 5 Flemish digital newspapers: Standaard Online,, and

Wonder how this goes ... suppose that copies that video from an international newspaper or directly from Youtube ... a journalist from sees that ... decides to copy the movie on their site ... journalist of sees the movie on both sites and thinks he/she are missing lots of potential online visitors and as a consequence decides to copy the movie. Hope this copy-behavior does not happen with important political/cultural/economical/environmental news ... in print, I'm sure it is not the case, but what with online news where copying is soooo easy? I don't know, maybe some online journalist can ease my mind.

Timelines in Flash (2)

Two weeks ago, I discussed the use of animated timelines on Standaard Online. Today, Reinout Bossuyt of Standaard Oline told me that more than a year ago already, Standaard Online made use of timelines in Flash. Only negative point is that this testcase-timeline was hidden behind a link or pop-up. Standaard Online realised quickly that such graphical infoelements should be implemented in the regular pages. Ironically, the timeline also covered the story about missing children (Stacy and Nathalie). Reinout noted that it seems like was inspired by the use of Flash timelines and started using one few days ago. Again, great example of multimedia journalism! I hope this won't be a one-day trick.

If anyone knows other examples of animated timelines (in flash) used in Flemish news media, please let me know!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Invest more in eduction for online journalists (Henk van Ess)

In a movie that summarizes a study of the NVJ and Radboud University about the use of internet by journalists, Henk van Ess (Investigative journalist and online reporter, see argues that media companies and journalist should invest more in eduction so that journalists can make fully advantage of the possibilities of the web.

I agree with Henk. I'm very proud to have the courses online journalism and online research (CARR) included in the Master Program of the Lessius University College. In my opinion, this kind of education is essential for future journalist, and as a consequence for courses in journalism. Not only the online tricks and tools are useful, but also, and maybe more important, the knowledge and belief that better journalism is possible when being creative and innovative with the internet and in general new media.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Google maps in online news

Among today's stories on, one receives my attention. In this article, the journalist inserted a google map feature (although made by somebody else) to illustrate a news story (an overview of different politicians who commited fraud). Although it is in fact a basic feature, this deserves a big applause.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Whiter shade of pale

Thursday, I'll welcome the students of the Master of Journalism on their first day of an intensive year that will be the finishing touch in their strive to become a professional journalist. I plan to start with some quotes of this essay written by Mark Deuze about the future of professional journalists. I wonder how many of the students' faces will turn a 'whiter shade of pale'.

Distinct types of multimedia features

In this article on the Online Journalism Review, different types of multimedia are highlighted:
1) animated infographics (how does that plain crash happened?)
2) infotoys (applications that let you play with data)
3) narratives (slideshow of pictures and voice)
4) you are there (detailed information based on consumer's choice)
5) bop's (big old packages, a complex story presented by the use of different modalities)

Three remarks:
1) So far I know, these kinds of multimedia-applications are not common in Flemish online news media. I'll try to motivate the students of my course to develop these new forms of telling a story, or at least be aware of the possibilities and the benefits it brings for the news consumer. As the article concludes: "the real winners are the news audience".
2) Is it? Are the online news consumers the real winners? Do they just appear to have a nicer 'surfing behavior'? Or do they learn better from these multimedia packages? In the spring of 2008, I'll try to include some multimedia packages in my learning experiments to find out whether there are some differences in learning outcome between a static and multimedia story.
3) The description of animated infographics touches a great issue of defining multimedia. The author makes the difference between a static graphic for print publication and the animated storytelling picture. What's in fact the difference between these two, apart from the fact that the latter is non-static? Pictures are not multimedia, moving pictures are multimedia? So the moving thing is essential? And what if the static picture was combined with a narrative voice-over? Should we label that static picture + voice as multimedia? I'll try to answer these questions in a paper/article I've been working on during the last few weeks in which I propose a redefinition of the concept of multimedia, a concept until today defined as the combination of text, pictures and sound but which deserves a better definition in this digital age.

Friday, September 14, 2007

User-news agenda differs from mainstream news agenda

A new PEJ-study reveals that the agenda of user-news sites like Digg, Reddit and differs from that of mainstream media. However I think it is difficult to define this kinds of user-generated of user-centered media as news media (many of the topics are not 'real news' but entertainment, advertisments, reviews, ...), this study confirms that citizens and journalists are driven by other personal, economical and organisational factors. One thing is clear: the existance of user-news and mainstream news is good for everybody, leading to a more pluriform and diverse news agenda.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Using maps online: what difference does it make?

An earthquake has struck Sumatra, one of the Southern Islands of Indonesia. To localise the region of disaster, online news media often use maps. Good idea ... if the map is clear. In the article of, only a small region is showed, so that it is impossible to understand the big picture, for example the distance between the epicenter and the threatened cities. The maps of CNN and BBC are better, but still not making fully use of the online possibilities like interactive maps with informational texts, maps with associated distances or maps with integrated picture-option.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Timelines in flash

De Standaard Online gives a great overview of the most important events during the political negociations in Belgium in the form of a timeline in flash. Today, I was analysing the online news site of and saw somewhat the same feature: a timeline which summarised the Maddie-history. Great type of journalism, especially for long-running news items!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Social Bookmarking for dummies

For dummies, but yet interesting!

Chapter in press

Few weeks ago, I received great news that my chapter for the Handbook of Research on Computer Mediated Communication is accepted for publication. The title is "Divergent News Media in Computer Mediated News Communication" and will appear in the spring of 2008. In this article, I question 'the internet as one medium', discuss the results of a content analysis of online news about the Belgian elections of 2006-2007 and propose a typlogy of divergent online news media.

Neuroscience and new media

In the end of June, I visited the Aberdeen University to give a presentation about the classificiation of interactivity at the information:interactions and impact conference. There was a keynote speaker, dr. Martin Westwell of this institute, who was really great. He told us about the relationship between new media possibilities and neuroscience, in a way dealing with the stuff I'm working on. Things like cognitive overload and structural isomorphism (which I study in relationship with online news features) have more or less to do with the capacities and limitations of the human brain and associated neurons. I'll try to get his presentation and ask him permission to put it on this blog.

Friday, June 22, 2007

How to write online?

In journalism, one of the main questions is how to write news online? In an interview from Poynter Online with Chris Nodder, one of the group of Jacob Nielsen, some interesting point are discussed.

- The use of text is still very important online. Text gives the online readers the possibility to scan the information and to use it as hyperlinks or even to manipulate it. With video and audio, this is more difficult. Video and audio make online readers frustrated as they can't scan through the video or audio files. Audio and video as richter media can even be poorer in contrast with digital texts, Nodder concludes. In addition, past eye tracking studies did find out that most of the videos online don't work as on television as they make the online news consumers bored.

With regard to my study, this make sense. It's mostly argued that there's a lack of integrated use of video and audio files in online news(papers), mostly assuming that the use of various modalities of information should make the article more valuable. When video and audio files are indeed frustrating online readers because they can't manipulate them, this will have an effect on the information retrieval and the information-processing, probably in a way that an integration of audio and video will make the readers invest more cognitive sources in oriëntating and frustrating than in elaborating and processing.

- The inverted pyramid is proposed as the best structure to write online, by telling the conclusion at the start of the article so that online scanners are getting fast to the information they want to know. However, this vision is somewhat countered by three articles, one in communication Research by Yaros , that in the European Journal of Communication by Machill and this article from Poynter online. The first two articles are discussed in this article on The conclusion is that both in online and television news, journalist must forget the inverted pyramid structure and start to use a more narrative form of telling the story.
In my study, I'm also measuring the effects of the news structure, but not the use of the inverted pyramid or narrative style. I'm studying the use (and sometimes lack) of internal and external hyperlinks, in order to measure the desorientation and scanning behavior which results from this use of this non-lineair structure.

- The last thing that this article learned me was that online journalist should use sign posts to make their texts more easy to read. Editors can use titles, summaries, bullet lists, bold, ... to get the attention of the reader to the core of the information.

Indeed, the use of advisory cues (as I call them in my study) are important when studying the online reading. I do not focus on features like bullet lists or use of titles, but more on logo's like 'breaking news' and time annotations that symbolise the freshness and value of the news article.

The machine is us: movie about digital texts and web 2.0

Some of you may already know this terrific movie about digital texts and web 2.0. This movie was discussed in some of the listservs I'm a subscriber of; almost everybody found it great piece of artwork!

I definitely going to use it in October in one of my courses as I think it is ideal to get the attention of my students and to make them realise that there's more than just hyperlinks online.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 goes audio

One of the nice surprises when studying the online coverage of the elections was the use of audio files by Although not so advanced as those used by, the use of these audio files by a digital newspaper must be encouraged. I was not so suprised that one day later, a concurrent newspaper ( introduced the same audio technology to add audio files to the texts.

Unfortunately, the use of audio files stopped two days after the elections. It seems like for online newspaper journalists, the use of integrated audio is not as 'normal' or 'useful' as it may look at first glance. This would confirm the general criticism of the lack of interactivity and multimedia in digital newspapers. But maybe there is much more to come ... suprise me!

Monday, June 18, 2007


Last months, I' ve been very busy doing research for my Phd study. That is why I did not find time to update this blog, my apologies for that.

On the other hand, I'm very happy with past activities. Two months ago, I presented a paper at the GOR-congress in Leipzig. The reactions on my paper about studying online news media were interesting and helped me a lot with my study. Since then, I've been adjusting the concepts and units for my second content analysis of the online coverage of the elections. Last year in october, I studied the structure and form of the online messages that covered the municipal elections. One week ago, I repeated this kind of study, now with the federal elections on June, 10. However it is too early to announce some important conclusions, it is clear that the online news media have been evolving during the past months. Most of the online news media used a greater amount of multimodality, interactivity and hypertext in contrast with last year. The finding of this content analysis will be described in one or more articles about the (evolution of) use of these features in online coverage of elections or political news in general.

In addition, I've put a survey online that questions the use of online news by students and staff from the Lessius University College in Antwerp. The purpose of this study is to determine the digital divide in use of online news by people who belong to the same group, which have more or less the same cognitive development and the same possibilities to access the internet. We assume that the differences in the use of interactive, hypertextual and multimodal features will differ a lot among respondents, even when they belong to the same group and make a plead for the study of divides in use rather than studying differences in access. I will present some of the general conclusion already at the IAMCR-conference in Paris, july, 25. (Attention: you mustn't participate in the online survey if you are nor a student, nor a staff member of the Lessius University College!)

My last anouncement is that next week, I'm going to present a paper which is titled "online journalism and interactivity: studying control, conversation and self-production from an cognitive and methodological approach" at the I3-conference (Informations: interaction and impact) in Aberdeen, Schotland.

To conclude: busy times, but interesting times!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Paper Etmaal 2007 congress online

Today, I've put my paper of the Etmaal 2007 congress in Antwerp online. You can download it from this link (paper is in Dutch).

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Integrated or desintegrated use of text and video online

One of the main features of online news is multimedia. In past literature, multimedia is most of the times defined as the integration of text, audio, video and other modalities into one format.
However, when studying Flemish online news sites, we must conclude that video is seldom fully integrated into a news article. Indeed, many online news sites use video, but most of the times these video fragments are not integrated into a news article. There is not much more than a video-link integrated into the text-article. When clinking on the link, a new window opens and the video is played above the orginal test-based message. We suggest that this use of video is not an integrated or convergent use of different media but instead a divergent one.

Example 1 - example 2: In these articles, the focus is on the text. Alongside the article, there are some links. One of the links refers to a video and when clicked on this link, a new window opens and the video is played. This is a disintegrated use of video.
Sometimes, these videos are even presented in a seperated section on the website. In this case, the videos stand alone and are not even linked to the text message. This stand-alone character of video is reinforced by the covering title these videos get. In, these stand-alone videos are stored under the "HLN-TV" section (as if this is a totally different news medium than the general web site), and on these video are called "WebTV".
However, example 3 and example 4 demonstrate that an fully integrated use of text and video is possible. While looking at the video, it is still possible to read the text and to get the whole picture of the news item. has been using this type of integrated news since the beginning of the site (even with integrated audio), but today I noticed that also uses a fully integration of these two modalities (example 4). However, the way integrates video into the text is in my opinion more ideal since uses Youtube for playing the video.

As I will demonstrate and defend in upcoming articles and paper presentations, I suggest that the term multimedia is often not correct for describing one of the main features of online news media. I suggest that the integrated use of different modalities like text, video and audio into one news format (like should be called multimodality (a term often used in linguistics and semiotics), while the desintegrated use of different modalities (like webTV and HLN-TV) can be called multimedia, as in this case different online media are used (general website for the text and the videosites for the video fragments).

Monday, January 29, 2007

Saving the screen with news

As I will discuss in one of my forthcoming papers and articles, the internet should no longer be considered to be a homogeneous medium. I suggest, together with some other scholars, to tread the internet as a technical infrastructure that holds various different types of news media. A news item covered by a 'regular' news website looks different when compared to the publication on a news blog of trough RSS. Instead of speaking in terms of the internet as news medium, is suggest it is better to tread websites, rss-feeds, news blogs, discussion boards, usenet, ... as different news media with, apart from the possible differences in content, a specific structure and organisation.

When doing research in this interesting domain, I often discover some unknown types of news media. One of the first was the 'nieuwskraker', a service that makes it possible to chat with a news bot that provides you with the most recent news through MSN. Type 'Belgium' and the nieuwkraker gives you all the relevant Belgian news. The only disadvantage is that this is a Dutch service (De Volkskrant) so that only the very important Belgian news is covered. But it is for sure a new way of getting the news on the computer, especially for kids.

Today, I also discovered the 'news by screensaver'-service of Gazet van Antwerpen. Somewhere hidden between the multiple whistles and bells, this service caught my attention. I have no idea how long this service is already available, but I already know that I regret having installed it. After a break, I usually install myself before my computer and continue with what I was doing. But instead of moving the mouse and move on, a screen saver with lots of relevant and less relevant stuff now begs me to click on a link. Of course I want to know the latest gossip about Britney Spears!! So I click and click and click ... news is addictive, even it is pushed by a silly screen saver. After this blog post, I will definitely uninstall it.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Paper presentation about different online news media

I've just finished my paper for the 'Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap', a congress about contemporary trends and studies in the domain of communication and media studies. I will present a paper about 'multimedia, interactivity and hypertextuality in online news: defining different online news media and effects on knowledge'. The main purpose of this paper is to plead in the defence of the various submedia online. I suggest focusing on different online news media like blogs, general news sites, usenet, mail alerts, rss-feeds, etc. instead of studying the internet as one, homogeneous news medium. I try to construct a typology in which the different news media are characterised based on their degree of multimedia, interactivity and hypertextuality. Once this typology is made up, the associated cognitive processes and effects on the news-processing can be explained. To be continued on February, 8-9 at the University of Antwerp. I'll try to put the paper online after presentation.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Hallo online eindredactie?

[this message is in Dutch because of the language-specific content]

Twee online berichten deden me de voorbije week schrikken. En vooral beseffen dat journalisten nog steeds niet foutloos zijn, wat er ook mag gedacht worden van spellings- en vertaalsoftware. En het kan ons tot de vraag brengen of er 's nachts geen eindredacteurs zijn op de online redactie van kranten...

Vorige week verscheen rond 01.00u op een bericht dat de trainer van Henin Kim Clijsters een bitch vindt. In het artikel zelf stonden enkele raar geformuleerde zinnen zoals "Ik zeg haar altijd 'trek met meisjes als Kuznetsova op', want met haar verstaat ze zich wél perfect."

Met haar verstaan? Uh? 'Goed overeenkomen, niet'? Of beter: 'met haar klikt het'! Toch?

De journalist gaf de Spaanse sportkrant Olé op als bron van de uitlatingen van de coach. Als we de brontekst door een online vertaalmachine zoals babelfish haalden, leek het resultaat ons al iets logischer. Maar daarom niet beter!

Voorbeeld 1:
  • Olé: Mis amigos son pocos, (Kim) es una jugadora más en el circuito, a la que le digo ''buenos días''.
  • Babelfish: My friends are few, (Kim) is one more a player in the circuit, to which I say 'good días' to him.
  • Ik heb weinig vrienden en Kim is gewoon één van de vele speelsters in het circuit, aan wie ik goeiedag zeg."

Voorbeeld 2:

  • Olé: "Vos hacé tu vida y llevate con chicas como Kuznetsova, por ejemplo". Con ella se entiende muy bien.
  • Babelfish: "Vos hacé your life and llevate with girls like Kuznetsova, for example". With her it is understood very well.
  • Ik zeg haar altijd "trek met meisjes als Kuznetsova op", want met haar verstaat ze zich wél perfect.

Nog in het artikel deze zin: "Vandaag zegt ze dat ze misschien nu niet meer zou trouwen, met alle verantwoordelijkheid en moeilijkheden die zo’n beslissing met zich meebrengen."

Ook bij blijken ze ('s nachts) geen online eindredactie te hebben. Gisterenavond rond 11u verscheen de volgende titel zowel op de website als in m'n rss-lezer: "Lincident in Sint-Genesius-Rode". Klinkt alleszinds beter dan een 'Longeval', maar dan nog ... Of is het misschien uit het Franse (of beter:Waalse) 'L'incident' overgenomen en dus slecht geknipt en geplakt?

Twaalf uur later staat het er nog steeds ...

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