Archive for the ‘newspaper’ Category

Is today’s blog modelled on yesterday’s newspaper?

October 14, 2009 5 comments

Who do you think can be called a journalist?

There are those who think that “real” journalists sit in offices, publish impressive layouts and have been credited with a sense of trust. It is this notion of credibility and trust that has got people debating about whether citizen journalism is a valid form of journalism.

However, if we go back to the creation of newspapers, we’ll find that those now large corporations once grew out of small groups, families and individuals of concerned citizens who wanted their voices heard. For instance, the New York Herald was founded in 1835 as an American newspaper that proclaimed complete political independence, which was different to other newspapers during that time.

Although, blogs are different to traditional ideas of journalism. Bloggers may not have all of the skills, or know-how, or the contacts that professional journalists have, but they do offer something more. Their opinions generally aren’t restricted by their editors or seniors because they have none. And they have the capacity to simply offer what they believe and contribute to public discussion in new and innovative ways (even if this isn’t always the case).

What I’m trying to say is that both blogs and newspapers originated with people, who wanted to publicize their views and be heard in the public domain, and it is only right that those who discredit blogs and citizen journalists begin to see that.

Here’s a great video explaining what exactly ‘citizen journalism‘ is.

Categories: blog, newspaper Tags: ,

Murdoch versus Google

I just thought that I’d share that Rupert Murdoch launched an attack on Google and other search engines for stealing content last week.

Murdoch and Tom Curley (executive of AP) claim that Google is making money by using their content and running them out of business.

Yet, you have to wonder, are their complaints legitimate? If all that Google and other search engines are doing is linking to AP and News Corp. stories and providing people with brief teasers and headlines and then directing them to the newspaper website’s full story once clicked, then what did Google steal?

In fact, if AP and News Corp really didn’t want to be listed on Google searches, then all they’d need to do is type in a few keys and their sites would be removed and robots would be prevented from crawling their websites in the future.

Perhaps AP and Murdoch didn’t know that they could remove their websites from Google or maybe they do. Maybe the reason why they haven’t taken action to remove their websites from search engines is that search engines are doing news organizations a favour in providing some free traffic.

Attaching a Price-tag to Online Content

While researching for the website analysis earlier this semester, I stumbled across a few websites that asked me to pay for their content. I dismissed them and continued on with my search for free content. But it made me question, ‘Is there value in paid online content?’

With the likes of Rupert Murdoch, we may no longer have a choice. In May, he announced that News Corp would start charging for some newspaper titles over the next year. There are still loads of other news outlets, but what if they all follow suit in a bid to generate cash?

Surely, this isn’t what Berners-Lee had in mind when he envisioned the world wide web. He believed that the web would be a place where people would openly and productively share information, not charge for it.

There’s no doubt that newspaper ad sales and circulation have been plummeting with the British Financial Times looking to a click-per-view system of payments, comparable to the iTunes model. The New York Times too, is also looking to a charging system and tiered membership.

Yet, will their plans to change the liberated nature of the Internet eventuate? And if they do, will those who charge for content survive? With filtering systems like Google and the newly launched Bing, it remains easy to find unpaid content. In spite of that, there are still those who are willing to pay for niche publications and specialised information inaccessible elsewhere. The Wall Street Journal and ESPN have successfully created a paying market, but whether it would be as successful for the Herald Sun, for instance, remains to be seen.

According to a poll from Harris Interactive, three out four online news readers would switch to an alternative free source if their favourite news site began charging for access, and a mere 5% would continue to pay for their preferred news source if it started charging for content.

In Australia, however, a study from the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers reveals that people would pay for online news, sports, weather and finance. According to the report, people will pay for content if it saves them money, helps them make money, is specialised content or helps them use other products like software.

The death of the newspaper?

August 14, 2009 1 comment

As a media student, I’ve encountered readings, lectures, books and articles predicting the death of the newspaper. Some have talked about how the internet or other new media will take over the newspapers role. They say it’s only a matter of time.

But are we really approaching the death of the newspaper? And if we are, is there anything that we can do to save it?

Maybe all we need is change. Or a fresh way to look at an old idea.

Take the television, for example. The clunky analog televisions are now beginning to be replaced by the slim and sleek digital ones. Not to mention, all of the supporting improvements which have made the television more useful and appealing, like VHS, VCD, DVD, and now Blu-ray discs.

Or take another example. The internet, for instance, was used by few until the World Wide Web was developed to make it user-friendly.

Many information mediums have undergone repairs to make them more applicable as times change. Perhaps we’ve just been thinking about the whole newspaper situation in a constrained way. Maybe all that the newspaper needs is a transformation.

Taking a clue from the television and Internet, newspapers would need to become more useful and visually appealing.

I think Jacek Utko has found a solution to the design aspect. He’s increased newspaper circulation in various countries across Europe. Take a peek at the clip below and you’ll see that the newspaper may have a future after all. Perhaps, it’s just not the one that some had envisioned.

What do you think? Does the newspaper have a future? Check out my poll, post what you think, and see what others have said.

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