Monthly Archives: October 2012

Week 4- ‘The Future of Local News’ and BBC Coverage

LECTURE:

‘Local websites of all shapes and sizes are providing community news and information to hundreds of thousands of people. Most of these sites are volunteer run, using free publishing platforms like www.wordpress.com with no hard costs. They show that grass roots media can provide an accurate, reliable popular source  of news and information without regulation or subsidy. Their news values and thresholds are new, reflecting grass roots interests and priorities.’ (Digital Britain:150)

This quote is significant as it reflects a positive side about blogging in comparison to the negative quotes from news organisations that I listed in one of my first posts.

Triangle of News:

1. National/International – not many news organisations are included in this sector- Sky and BBC

2. Regional/Local – BBC Radio and TV, shrinking regional press but more organisations involved. I.e ITV

3. Local/Ultra Local/ Community- 135 Community Radio Stations – 1000s of internet based comunity Media Outlets.

‘What’s clear is that the old-school of journalism can no longer continue as before. There is a future – and a potentially prosperous one – where amateurs and professionals work together to tread the difficult line between quality and extensiveness.’ (Making Good Society, 2010:108)

WORK SHOP:

I have searched ‘news’ on three different search engines (Ask, Yahoo, Google and Bing) to see any significant differences or similarities that arise.

My first initial thought is that unsurprisingly the BBC online news website comes up first in Ask and Bing and comes second in Yahoo. This connotes the prestigious status that the BBC owns over other online news organisations. However, Yahoo had it’s own news group at top of the list. This may not mean that it ranks itself as more important or ‘better’ than the BBC but it does represent the loyalties Yahoo has to it’s organisation. The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Daily Mail shortly follows after BBC news on the different search engines. As I flick from page to page, the BBC remains on each page.

Political economy of search engines. Google ranks the words you use and uses the location metrics- because the word news is in the web address it comes higher than something that hasn’t got news in it. BBC comes up a lot is because people are putting links on social media sites so when Google looks at it they will say ‘ah there are so many links to the BBC’ so it goes up in the rankings.

Searching ‘War in Afghanistan’ is interesting. Particularly on Ask as by the time you get to page 45, the same page is repeated over and over again. This is intriguing. Is Ask trying to look ‘good’ or ‘better’ against its competitors? Do they not expect people to look further than page 45?

This is a commonality with the search engines I investigated apart from Google.

BBC COVERAGE

The BBC publishes news from all over the world. These are the countries the BBC specifically covers online: UK, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin American, Middle East, US and Canada.

It is interesting that certain areas are not included in the coverage i.e South America. However, Lee Salter taught us that news organisations are unable to afford to cover some places because of budgets. In the lecture we went through how much some channels charge to just have a programme broadcasted and it is astonishing.

Where certain places are unable to be covered by journalists, this can affect the type of news we receive from these places. News organisations cut costs by using journalists from the local areas to get their stories. This can mean that the information we receive about this country could be biased or misleading, giving our country false representations and ideas about situations occurring.

Week 2- The Rise of Online News

Today we explored the rise of online news and looked at an archive website (www.archive.org/web/web.php) which was actually interesting so now I’m going to bore you and talk about how cool I thought it was…

On archive.org you enter a website you would like to research into the homepage box. It then comes up with a time line of all the different publications that has been produced on the website and it goes back as far as 1996! It’s pretty cool to see how much online content has developed since then and the reasons behind it.

The publication I decided to research was the BBC because I wanted to know how the broadcasting company presented itself and addressed audiences in the past and I also wanted to know how the BBC developed its online publications over the years. The BBC first gained an online presence in 1994. Archive.org only goes back as far as 1996. However even looking back that far it is interesting to see what the BBC’s intentions were for the new media platform. In class, me and a mate typed in a magazine website. It went back to 1997 and was originally a porn site…nice!

It is evident that Television and Radio were the prioritized platforms and the internet was to be used as a complimentary platform. For example, links to different pages were ‘schedules’ and ‘licence fee’ and the logo included Television and Radio in it. However, it was interesting to see that the BBC was thinking about the interaction with audiences as they included links to games on the website.

I also looked at The Guardian as a comparison. The BBC was definitely more aesthetically pleasing to the eye as it was colourful and eye-catching whereas The Guardian was bland. However it is important to take into consideration the fact that back in the 90’s when the internet was first developed too many graphics and information on a page would take longer to upload and broadband was non-existent at the time so that would be one costly internet bill!

Our lecturer Lee pointed out that 1/3 of the population still don’t use broadband so if a publication crams too much information/graphics on a page then they could lose readers.

There are many Twitter and Facebook accounts linked with the BBC now. The breaking news Twitter feed has 4,361,221 followers and Facebook World Wide News page has 2,352,306 likes.

“…the reason that all these big news organizations, including mine, are investing in going into the net is because of the feeling that in three or four or five years when you can get video and when it really becomes faster and more reliable, that this will be a more [serious] news player” (transcript, CNN ‘Reliable Sources,’ 1 December 1996)

Lecture notes:

“basic technologies and approaches were kept open to benefit the community as a whole” (Barry Leiner, ARPANET Engineer Interview with Lee Salter)

“On the internet individuals construct their identities” (Poster, What’s the Matter With The Internet?:184) We have no idea who’s behind what with the internet. This quote links to the way the internet is used for businesses. Businesses use the internet as a marketing strategy and present themselves on it in a way that they want to be perceived.

BBC website is now innovative, but simple so that it is easy to engage with. When I did some research on the BBC as an organisation, I was surprised to see that I think it still uses the internet as a complimentary platform. I couldn’t find any online history about the launch of the website. (IF I’M MISSING SOMETHING PLEASE FILL FREE TO DIVULGE YOUR INFO!)

In 1995, editor of NandOnet (News and Observer) proclaimed the internet as a place to break news, noting speed. You can now get a regular sports update. 9/11 is a classic example of getting information quick and breaking information. Victims and observers of the tragedy were posting blogs, videos and pictures about the happenings and people were able to get constant hourly (or more) updates on what was happening.

History of the BBC

1920’s the creation of BBC as an institution and as a broadcaster. John Reith is the BBC’s ‘founding father’

1922-1st regular news bulletin

1923-BBC Radio times published

1936- World’s first ever TV service launched – this closed during WW2 but radio still continued during this period

1948- first regular TV news programme

1974- Regular CEEFAX Service starts

BBC MAGAZINES

Now managed by Immediate Media Co. who works in partnership with clients (BBC Magazines, Origin Publishing and Magicalia) to develop innovative and engaging content across a range of print and digital channels.

Radio Times is one of the BBC’s publications. It is the 3rd largest selling magazine in the UK and is sold weekly for £1.20.

Welcome!

I am completely new to this whole blogging thing and am unsure I’m even doing it right so I thought I’d write a quick introduction as to who I am and why I have bothered to start now.

I am currently in my 3rd year at UWE studying Journalism, Media and Culture and am hoping to gain a career in Television Production upon graduating as I have a huge passion for television and the production side of the industry. Over the summer I managed to secure some Runner work as a stepping stone to where I want to get to which was great because EVERYONE says it is ridiculously difficult to break into the industry unless you know anyone in it. With hard work and perseverance I beg to differ!

Anyway, the reason I have started this blog is because I am intrigued as to what it is all about. My lecturer also thought it would be a great idea to get us on here blogging about journalism futures…

Online journalism is the main topic of focus for this module.

The internet “operates under no such restrictions and seems rather proud of it” (Truth’s values plummet on ‘net’ The Denver Post, 2nd November, 1997). With the internet, everyone has the opportunity to be a journalist. There are almost no restrictions as to what you want to post or what you want to find out. It is an open database.

There is a debate as to whether the internet dumbs down journalism. Is it pushing newspapers out of the industry? More and more journalists are now working for little money, if any. I met with Eugene Bryne who is a local journalist in Bristol. He said “Journalists these days are writing purely for the love of the job.”

“Newspapers offer a forum for debate and analysis which cannot be provided by new computer services or by TV and radio. As well as breaking scoops, papeers can explain the whys, whats and wherefores in a way other superficial media cannot.” (‘The Online Age and Us’ Media Guardian, 24th April, 1995)

As you can see the print media industry is not entierly happy about the uproar in online journalism and bloggers. Calling it a ‘superficial’ medium connotes that the internet does not dig deep for information, it purely scratches the surface. I think that there are many pros and cons behind the internet but I would not say it is merely superficial media. It allows us to explore the world in our own bedrooms through a screen! However, social media sites can cause havock for how information is percieved and I do believe any information taken from the internet needs to be double and triple checked. We sometimes don’t trust print journalists so why would we put our complete trust in someone we can’t even see?

Bloggers- “How will they ever be able to apprciate, as they move on in their careers that the subs who insist they should go back and clarify a few points, are talking sense?” (Linda Jones, Press Gazette 18 July, 2006). I do think that blogging is a biased source of news and does not neccessarily provide the public with reliable information. Some bloggers are professionals. However anyone can be a blogger, it is limitless and free. To be and practice as a journalist, you need to be out there finding your stories. Not sat in a room writing your own opinion. Jones’ quote suggests that blogging does not set you up to be a professional journalist in the media industry. You are merely just an amature. There is noone controling a blogger with what they can and can’t say.

HOWEVER

There are some regulations and standards that are unacceptable for posting on the internet. For example, today this article was released: http://news.sky.com/story/1010165/burning-poppy-photo-man-faces-questioning

Web 2.0 has increased democratisation but is this a good thing? Some online news sites like the BBC filter through the comment section on their websites but most social networks and blogs allow almost anything to be posted. There’s always a random roomer each year that a random celebrity has died and before you know it, everyone thinks they are actually dead! “Twittering is not the way to provide news” (The Independent, 2nd December 2008).

Technology has always been tied to power. Now everyone has the power to easily access computers, everyone has the opportunity to be a journalist. In the olden days, only rich people had a computer. Now you can pay a pound an hour in an internet cafe to get access and we have all become reliant on it. I would be lost without the internet at universtiy and I don’t think I would get as good a grade because I am always searching for information that may be of use for projects (like this!!!)