Tag Archives: online journalism

Finality.

My final project for Multimedia Storytelling, a look at how the recession is affecting college Army ROTC enlistment. Enjoy!

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Uncertainty?

The findings in the State of the News Media 2009 Report are sobering, to say the least.

I knew the numbers were bad, I’ve been hearing it in every journalism class I take and reading it in print and online. But a look at the actual numbers says things are worse than I thought. One out of every five journalists gone? That would be two, possibly three people from our class alone.

I see much of the problem the media face coming from public attitudes toward them. If only 8 percent of Americans have “a great deal of confidence” in the news media, why would we expect the other 92 percent to pay any attention to us? Why wouldn’t we expect that the only way the 18 percent who have “no confidence at all” would read or listen to our news would be for free, if that?

I think this ties to the increase the report found in the power of individual journalists. An audience that has found the media as a whole untrustworthy turned to individual journalists they felt they could trust or with whom they shared a bias. I really think this is where media are headed: key players, not key teams.

The failure of the media to adapt early on to the web and to be the industry that set the model and pace for others is an integral part of the current crisis. The game of catch-up and the struggle to turn our current work to on-demand has only fueled the fire of negative public feelings in the media because we provide inaccurate or biased information. I think the catch-up needs to end and real evolution of how we present the news will have to happen soon.

People tend to paint journalism and newspapers as one entity, but the truth is, newspapers are only one part of journalism. They are, in fact, a shrinking piece of a growing whole.

And while several parts of journalism are shrinking, two facets, online and cable, are growing. Just looking at online journalism, I believe there are a multitude of possibilities, especially for a young journalist, trained for the web and ready to work individually, who recognizes the problems and failures of the current and past news media.

I think this only provides more opportunities to young journalists, and I actually look forward to creating and working in a role that maybe hasn’t been filled by any journalist before.

I highly recommend reading this article about the reality of newspapers and online journalism.

In other news, I spent Spring Break this year in (and getting to) Seattle. Here’s beautiful Seattle by ferry at night.

[bokeh] Seattle by Night

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The Chron.com v. The LA Times

The Houston Chronicle and the LA Times are about to go head to head.

The Nieman Journalism Lab recently compiled a list of the Top 15  newspaper Web sites according to the number of unique monthly visitors. From the bottom five I chose the Chronicle, because I lived there for so long, and, because the Chronicle is a city paper, I chose the LA Times from the top five to compare it with.

The LA Times’ front page is much cleaner than the Chronicle’s. Chron.com looks very busy, cluttered and even a little intimidating. The Times utlitized more pictures on the front page and spaced out separate items. The Chronicle has a lot of little pictures on their home page, adding to the cluttered look, and bunches a lot of the links for their stories together. The Times was much more pleasing to look at.

Chronicle: 0, Times: 1

I really like that the Chronicle has all their links at the top of the page. If I know what I’m looking for, I can get there without scrolling. The Times put their links to different sections on the side, descending down the page. This isn’t a huge inconvenience (just a minor one), but it does take longer to get around this way. As far as ease of use goes, the Chronicle has a slight edge.

Chronicle: 1, Times: 1

Both the Times and the Chronicle told you in the link, before the jump to a story, whether there were pictures or a video to go along with it. That was nice. In addition, the Chronicle has an entire section on their home page dedicated to videos, photos and readers’ photos – one place where I can get it all. Terribly convenient. The Times had links on the side of the home page, one for video and one for photography. Also, very convenient.

I’m going to have to call this one a tie.

As far as quality of multimedia, both Web sites have good video and photos, but I wasn’t able to find soundslides or anything beyond very basic videos at either site. I think that the Times did, overall, have slightly better photography. So. The Times takes this one.

Chronicle: 1, Times: 2

So, overall, I feel the Times has a better Web site and makes better use of multimedia than the Chronicle. But just a little better.

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