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


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.

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