Stacia D-I.J. Final Project

Powering the Audience: Clicking to YOUR News… Good or bad? Stacia Doss


This is my final project for Survey of the Internet.It deals the issue of powering the audience..good or bad?

Transcript of Stacia D-I.J. Final Project

Page 1: Stacia D-I.J. Final Project

Powering the Audience:Clicking to

YOUR News…

Good or bad?

Stacia Doss

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Why?To figure out whether powering the audience, (allowing them to choose their own news) is a positive or negative quality of the Internet?

In other words, does it narrow them to only looking at one type of news instead of looking at the entire spectrum offered. Where current events are concerned, are they being viewed online?

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How?• Study the behaviors of a few students on campus.

• Do they only view particular areas of news or do the view the news full spectrum?

•Do students just get there current event/global news from other media forms?

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Sources• Research from focusing on news coverage online.

• 11 non-Journalism students: -5 female -6 male

•1 Internet Journalism student (to get the perspective of someone who’s going into this field.)

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4 Freshmen, 3 Sophomores, 3 Juniors, 2 Seniors

• Majors:Internet Journalism, Communications, Criminal Justice, English, Sports Management, Sociology, Music Performance, Biology, Political Science, Geology, Engineering

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Questions:• Which websites do you typically get your news from?

•What type of news do you typically look for online?

•Why that news topic, in particular, or do you browse around to other areas?

•If you only select one particular area, where do you find out about current events…’real news’ going on around the world?

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(Cont.)• Do you use any other mediums to get current event news…perhaps look online only for a certain type of news?

•Do you feel that these online sites effectively promote the sections that contain current event news? How?

•Of these categories: World, U.S., Science, Entertainment, Sports, Health, Local, or Other, which do you look at the most?

•How important is ease of navigation in your selection of a news website?

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(Cont.)• How much does it bother you to sign up in order to read an article…do you avoid the story altogether?..Just read the snippet?

• After being asked these questions, do you feel it’s a positive or negative thing that the audience can choose what to look at? How?

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Results…Which Sites?• Most of the students listed these

four as their top sites (in order of most mentioned): -Yahoo! news -AOL -Google news• Some other unique sites mentioned for news were:,, and

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According to the research used from…• In 2007, four news sites continued to generate the largest audiences: Yahoo News, MSNBC, CNN and AOL News. The rank order among them has remained the same since 2005.

• The results from a small sample of 12 students reflected this, listing at least 3 of these 4 sites as the top news site.

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Specific types of News?• Among the answers,

there were a lot of various responses.

• Most of the students listed about two things. Among those, most said entertainment, a couple mentioned politics, hardly any answered “world news”.

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Why specific topics?• Judging from the responses of the students, many said they just click on the tab of their choice because it’s the first thing they see that interests them.

•I found that as a reason for many of the Yahoo! users, the site has a lateral function, meaning they intend to get online to check their email and see eye-catching headlines while logging on or off.

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What the research says…• Of all categories, only 1% of all online

news in 2007 covered celebrity/entertainment.

• Only 8% covered politics.

• Other areas students mentioned areas such as Economy, which was covered 5% and Science/Technology, which only accounted for 1%.

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If not these websites, then where?•Because we are on a college

campus, it’s natural for many students to answer The Daily Helmsman.

• A few students said that they find out about big current event news simply from word of mouth.

•Others mentioned other mediums, aside from newspapers/internet news sites.

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Other Mediums?•Majority of the students listed television as their primary source for current event news.

•Internet placed second, and some others named radio as a primary source.

•Many students mentioned that stories that they see on tv result in them going online for more information regarding the specific topic.

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• Even though the research by the Project for Excellence in Journalism reports that the number of people going online for news is increasing, the student responses did not completely reflect the growth/trust in Internet news.• Majority of the news coverage online in 2007 consisted of majority foreign affairs-25%- and U.S. news-22%-so why are these students still going to broadcast news first?

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Is current event news promoted effectively? How?

• A reason more students might go to other mediums for current event news, could depend on how well they think it gets publicized over other news.• About half of the student said yes, the other half said no. • Those yes responses said that the headline current events news is usually ‘easily accessible’. • The students who said no felt like other stories that focus around entertainment sometimes overshadow the more important have to click on small side links to find the news that really counts.

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Top categories of news among Students

Of all 12, students, majority named sports, followed by entertainment and world news. The other categories offered included: U.S., Business, Health, and Local

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Ease of Navigation• Of the combined responses, students said that ease of navigation was very important.

• Some said that it can either cause them to go to another site and find it elsewhere on their own.

• They want the information as quickly as possible, they found a confusing navigation to be annoying…simple is best.

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Sign up or skip the Snippet?• Several sites offer snippets of news and

require membership before one may view the full story.

• This factor could lose readers on potential news sites in specific news subject areas.

• NY. Times announced in September 2007 it would no longer charge readers for online access to its opinion columnists because “indirect readers were visiting more” and they were “less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.”

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What do the students say?• The students agree!

• All of the students interviewed said that having to sign up for something-free or not-in order to read a story was irritating.

• Some of them said that they just go search for the story elsewhere, others said that they’d avoid the story altogether.

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So….is choice positive or Negative?• Seven students replied that the freedom of

audience choice is positive. They agreed that being able to choose what to look at is indeed a good thing.

-One student even said, “News is news. They either care about reading it or they don’t.”

• Four students said that it was both positive and negative for reasons regarding good variety and ignorance of other topics.

• Only one student replied that powering the audience was negative. He felt like it was not a good thing, believing that a lot of people only look to the areas of Entertainment, and ignore the rest.

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Conclusion• While majority of the students interviewed viewed audience choice of news as a good thing, they also were clear in pointing out how they also thought it could be negative, too.

• The research that was studied pointed out that foreign news was reported the most in 2007.

• However, a large majority of the students were drawn to Entertainment news over Local, U.S., or World.

• Maybe that is a possible indication of the news being promoted less to these students, depending on what site they receive their news from.