Monday, February 07, 2005

A medium still finding its form

Keyword: . From basic 'shovelware', where articles written for print are simply reproduced online, through articles with media clips and live Q&A sessions, to multimedia clickable interactives that combine text, sound, video and animation, online journalism seems to be a medium still trying to find its definitive voice. Whether there ever will be a definitive 'form' of online journalism is a question worth considering. Perhaps it's more likely that most non-online journalism will take on its interactive qualities in some form or another, sooner or later: we already have the "text-us-your-opinions", the "check our website", and the "press the red button".

Jonathon Dube of CyberJournalist.net has an excellent article about the range of online storytelling methods which includes some great examples of the various forms. Please comment if you have your own examples to add to the list.

UPDATE (Jan 8 05): Thanks for the comments. Dean highlights this Flash interactive from the Guardian about what the 'threat alert levels' actually mean. Simple idea that's easy to do and works well. Likewise the Bird Flu interactive explaining how different countries were affected by the outbreak, as well as the science behind the disease - and this interactive on the Iraq elections. Giving more options to the user is this interactive on ethnic communities in London: the user can explore the map to see where different communities are concentrated.

Simon picked up on this article from the Jewish Post - it's a good example of how not to do online journalism: the article runs for pages, paragraphs are too lengthy to read on screen, and there are no links or attempt to engage the user. Likewise this article on the 39th Superbowl - and this one too - gives the user nowhere to go next - although it does offer a printable version and email article option.

Much more like it is this Daily Mail article about the Soham case, which gives the user lots of options for further information, including archive stories and a slightly distasteful picture gallery.

Also worth looking at is a comparison of articles about the immigration issue: 1xtra's involvement of the user by allowing them to post opinions, versus The Guardian's more flat treatment.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found article on Daily Mail website about the killer Ian Huntley.
The article, as well as the news story features archives and pictures.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=336923&in_page_id=1770

February 07, 2005 3:45 pm  
Blogger Simon said...

I found this article http://www.jewishpost.com/jp1101/jpn1101a.htm - it asks "Where and When Al Qaeda Will Hit The US Again?"

February 07, 2005 3:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Article about birdflu from asia how it can affect humans with interactive picture of cells.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,1131346,00.html

February 07, 2005 3:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

www.guardian.co.uk/interactive

The Airbus A380

slideshow of information about the new airbus- was interactive as user clicked between the slides but it would have been more interesting if you were able to move around the screen and explore different parts of the aircraft

February 07, 2005 3:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both of these article links below are about tighter immigration controls.
Both online sites deal with the issue completely differently.
The bbc 1xtra site lets you leave your opinion and gets the readers involved, the overall site is a lot more visually appealing and keeps your attention.
The guardian has put up an article that hasnt got any pictures links or animation. it gives you the basic facts and thats it.

1xtra site
http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/tx/immigration.shtml

the guardian site
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Refugees_in_Britain/Story/0,2763,1407362,00.html

February 07, 2005 3:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.gulfnews.com/Articles/SportNF.asp?ArticleID=150982 This article on the 39th Superbowl held in Jacksonville last night

February 07, 2005 3:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,1399105,00.html

The story I looked at was the Iraq elections. I found the story on the Guardian Unlimited website. they used a slide show for telling the main part of the story. they also used an interactive map and a timeline following the progression of the Iraq government to the current date. there were other links to related stories at the end of the article.

February 07, 2005 3:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having investigated various websites the difference between The Sun and The Independent is vast. For example the story about Michael Howard is different. The Sun provide alternative links for information where as The Independent provide a story with no other links.

See www.thesun.co.uk
news.independent.co.uk

February 07, 2005 3:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Article found on the guardian website about ethnic communities in London. It included a clickable interactive in the form of a map.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,1398066,00.html

February 07, 2005 3:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I read and had a careful look in links that show how online journalism is practiced (indian ocean tsunami in www.guardian.co.uk/interactive), I realised that demonstration plays a very important role in informing the reader-user.Not only the photographs but also animation videos that give a full description of the incident that is being mentioned. I think that demonstration is the greatest thing about online journalism.

February 07, 2005 3:52 pm  
Blogger Dean said...

I found this interesting feature on the US terror levels, it simply describes the alert levels corresponding to the terrorist threat on America.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,1226155,00.html

February 07, 2005 3:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2005/02/07/dynasty_1107758022/ Report on the Superbowel from last night

February 07, 2005 3:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bird Flu
http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,1131346,00.html

The Guardian unlimited is a complementary news websites, it's 'interactive' section provides comprehensive information for each stories. The story I read is 'Bird Flu'. It contains photos, maps, animations, text and some related articles at last. It used the narrated slideshows storytelling forms. I like the slide about the 'What is it' most, it has some animation about the medical information that is easy to understand. It gives the readers with little medical background knowledge very clear picture about this topic.

February 07, 2005 3:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guardian online shows a very detailed slide show of how the asian tsunmi actually happened - it shows not only the tectonic movements that caused the tsunami, but shows various diagrams showing step by step of how the disaster happened. I found these diagrams to be very informative and simple to understand.

February 07, 2005 3:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read Catastrophic Collapse. This online journalism explained me better than any newspaers about what happened to the World Trade Centre by using the graphic designs of the building.Also clicking the bottons gives me more information which can make a good structure in my brain.

February 07, 2005 3:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For an informative and easy to follow report on the Iraqi government visit http://guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,1248944,00.html
The colourful slide show enables readers of the text to remain interested whilst learning about what has already happened and what is due to happen with regards to the governing of Iraq.

February 07, 2005 4:01 pm  
Blogger Kureha said...

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February 07, 2005 4:53 pm  

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