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Edward M. Kian analyses differences between sports coverage in print and online April 18, 2009

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Edward M. Kian from the University of Florida presented his research paper “Framing Differences in Gender-Related Sport Coverage by Internet Sites ands Newspapers.”

He said new media are changing the way news is gathered, distributed, accessed and consumed. And also, Internet readers tend to be younger. Plus, throughout history sports have served as an institution to preserve the power of men over women.

Because there is not much research done on the subject, he set out to determine if any significant differences are present and how the newer media use descriptors to frame coverage of the same men’s and women’s sport, specifically in tennis. He sought to find whether the popularity of sports across genders remains the same or not.

Kian’s methodology was taking print and online articles and did a content analysis of three daily newspapers (The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today)

His results pointed toward that the internet was more likely to just use the AP stories to publish. He also found that humor was more likely to be used on men’s sport stories than women’s.

The big surprise was that on print articles, women stories included much more descriptive factors of the physical appearance of the players, versus online where stories focused more on the skills.

“Internet sport journalism is serving much more as a challenge to these notions than traditional mediums,” he said.


Steve Sullivan discusses need for adaptability in newsrooms April 18, 2009

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Steve Sullivan, Multimedia Editor of the Baltimore Sun, reflected on remarks he made 10 years ago and where he sees newsrooms going in the future.

Ten years ago at the first International Symposium on Online Journalism, Sullivan remarked, “There is always going to be a place for a single medium specialist, some people just excel in one form of communication.” While still agrees with these predictions, Sullivan added today that these same specialized journalists need to broaden their perspective to understand what is going on in other mediums.

Sullivan focused his talk today on the need for understanding and adaptability in news rooms. He said that versality is something every newsroom has to strive for in order to survive, and he also mentioned that newsrooms should cultivate entrepreneurial journalists – people who can find ways to grow their audience and their outlet’s revenue through creativity.

Although many pundits may remain pessimistic about the future of the newspaper, Sullivan maintains that today the media is lucky – today, media has opportunities to be in places it has never been before.

A look back at 10 years of the symposium April 18, 2009

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The second day of the symposium kicked off with a nostalgic air, via a look back at 10 years of the event. Rosental Alves started by showing a video of himself from the first symposium, sans beard, and made sure the mood was light.

“It was a time that I was trying to let people know that my children weren’t my grandchildren, so I took off the beard,” Alves joked.

Alves was quick to point out that many of the issues discussed in the first symposium are still in play today.

“Most of the issue we had in the program [in 1999] are very similar to the issues we have now. One lesson that we learned after the bubble of the Internet: the main mistake of thinking that things would change very fast. Even in a revolution, there are evolutionary processes. It’s no surprise 10 years later we’re talking about the same issues: is this a business, should we integrate or not…”

Gerry Barker from the Palm Beach Post in Florida discussed the publication’s unbridled optimism in 1999 about the possibilities of the Internet via a discussion of implementing a process for web registration for the paper. That optimism didn’t last long, and in 2009 we are in a “world turned upside down.”

“Let’s look at the next 10 years,” Barker said. “We get to do the prediction thing. But you know, predictions are hard to predict.”


Waterfalls? Bottled water? Torry Pedersen’s take on Newsroom Integration April 18, 2009

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Photo courtesy of www.vg.no

Photo courtesy of http://www.vg.no

Is newsroom integration working?  Not for VG online Editor-in-Cheif Torry Pedersen it isnt.  (VG online is Norway’s most profitable and most read news site)

Should it work?  According to Pederson, no again.

Pedersen offered some very interesting percentages to back up his argument.  Out of the 4.8 people in Norway, newspaper reach 52% of them each day, meaning more than hald of the entire country is reading the news in print or online every day.  55% of the daily readers do this digitally.  42% of the ad revenue is digital and 39.5% of the profit is digital.  VG online recieves 9.3 million unique views each month and is entirely separate from its corresponding newspaper.

Pederson then took his demonstration a step further by offering some very interesting comparisions. He first compared newspapers and the web to ski and snow, showing two very different types of skiers and explaining that though they both use the same tool and delivery mechanism, snow, their form is still different.  The same can be said for newspapers and the web, he said.  “There is an urgency for product development in newspapers, however, the web is developing by the day.  The format is different.”

He then compared newspapers and the web to a bottle of water and a waterfall.  The waterfall represented the web–continues flowing, raw, unlimited and in real time.  The bottled water represented newspapers–limited space, distilled, refined and bottled.  An excellent comparison in my opinion.

Pedersen continued to argue that you simply cannot be the best at producing newspapers and online content simultaneously.  He coined the term “the best friend mode” in which you have “integrated separation”.  “You could be in the same flat but [the two] should be structured differently.”

Another good point he made was by explaining how a newspaper editor might say, “Don’t publish, I might need this for tomorrows paper!”  And how the online editor would say, “Publish now!”

Bottom line: Global organizations should not integrate because the structure and format of the two are entirely different.

Follow Torry Pederson on Twitter (though you will have to translate the text! 😉 )

Also check out this article on Torry Pedersen!

Backpack Journalism with Bill Gentile April 17, 2009

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Courtesy of AmericanObserver.net

Courtesy of AmericanObserver.net

Bill Gentile is an independent journalist and documentary film maker teaching at American University in Washington D.C. His career spans across three decades and over five continents pioneering what is now referred to as “backpack journalism.”

He has covered everything from prison life in a chain gang program to nursing shortages across the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. He began his career as a correspondent for UPI and a reporter for the Mexico City News in 1977. Since, he has worked independently across Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Backpack journalism is emerging as new model that can fill the void left by conventional media,” Gentile explains. “We are int he process of institutionalizing this new narrative style.”

Gentile talked about how digital cameras revolutionized television and visual communication. Journalism shifted to video in the mid 1990s because it was an expanding part of the business as multimedia journalism is today. Changing with the needs of journalism is very important which is why Gentile’s focus switched to video.

Gentile’s definition of backpack journalism is visual journalism that is done by a single practicioner to generate a more intimiate form of visual communication.

“It’s similar to citizen journalism, but a professional does everything and carries all of their equipment with them,” said an audience member.

Backpack journalism is better than the conventiaonl model, according to Gentile. When overseas, just holding a camera stops people in 3rd world countries to engage in the story.

“Video cameras engage the subjects because they feel they’re having a part in the storytelling process and narrative,” Gentile said.

This is what the future is about in journalism. It will be a new model and storytelling craft.

Gentile’s video packages.

Follow Gentile on Twitter.

Foreign Correspondence Network

Visual Storytelling- David LaFontaine April 17, 2009

Posted by meerarajagopalan in symposium.
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It’s fitting that David LaFontaine spoke about Visual Storytelling. He’s practically done every type of story telling there is. His blog, Hard News, Inc., is a great example of the variety that journalists are able to use. 

We don’t own the news anymore, failure to adopt to that is what is causing all this.  There has to be fun and playful ness. When people start creating video, people want to create something funny. They take the things other than popular news outlets (ex. Colbert Report and John Stewart)

LaFontaine feel sthat readers are lacking context in their news. They get this context from the videos that stream on Youtube 

LaFontaine feels that while you can’t cross the government completely, you can have fun with it.  Humor is a way for people to diffuse things and get the message.

LaFontaine notes that when we are open to our audience, we are speaking to them with a human voice. We empower or readers this way.

LaFontaine is a self-proclaimed investigative reporter/documentary filmmaker. His site features: pictures, Podcasts, stories, and video projects. 

From Colombia, Semana.com’s director showcases multimedia work April 17, 2009

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Maria Teresa Ronderos is the director of Semana.com, the online version of Colombia’s leading news magazine. She stated that they strive for new ways of telling stories so that they’re not reporting the same things that dailies do.

“The wonderful thing about working in Colombia is that we have very rich stories to tell,” she said.

Ronderos projected a flash presentation that presented an in-depth story that quantified where the coca comes from, and correlated that data with the location of the active guerrilla fronts. In the presentation there is also a section filled with pictures and identities of people involved in drug-related crime.

“How do you present abstract ideas difficult to bring down to Earth?” she asked.

Reporters and videographers, multimedia producers pair up, work together and create a coherent package. An advantage of multimedia storytelling is that you can mix different journalistic genres like features, profiles, blurbs, hard-news, etc. And regarding the length of time, sound, or words, there is no limit.

Here are a few examples of the work done at the publication:

The challenge is to have an open mind. She said you have to have a very organized train of thought, to involve readers in producing content of story, and make better use of new media to produce content.

Visual storytelling with Multimedia in Colombia April 17, 2009

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María Teresa Ronderos courtesy of Semana.com

María Teresa Ronderos courtesy of Semana.com


María Teresa Ronderos explains that storytelling is more than just writing, it’s an art form. As editor of Colombian magazine, Semana.com, Ronderos explained the advantages of online journalism and the endless possibilities it enables readers and journalists.

“As journalists, we no longer control the story line,” Ronderos explains. “People can choose what is interesting and useful to them in a story online and they have the freedom explore it.”

Semana has been in publication for over 25 years, but their online version is still a novelty for the Colombian community, only launched 6 years ago. The website specializes in trying to rebuild the truth in the armed conflict currently in Colombia.  Most of the stories that are posted onto the website deal with human tragedy and how the war is affecting Colombian culture, and the best way to portray the emotions of the story is through visual story telling.

Ronderos showed the audience an array of  multimedia Flash packages portraying the war conflict occurring in Colombia, and the importance of interactivity with the user.

“We include a lot of images and video in our packages with more information than they need so that users have the option of reading and seeing only what interests them in the package,” she said.

Ronderos told the audience that there are only eight people on Semana’s multimedia team, two of which are familiar with Adobe Flash. The small team of multimedia journalists are multifaceted and can do just about anything when telling a story: print, video, photography, etc. Every employee can do everything which is an important skill set to have as an future journalist today.

With the rich stories that Semana is faced with on a daily basis, Ronderos said the that everyday angle forces them to look for visually attractive multimedia options for every story.  Colombian citizens started to become confused with print editions of the stories dealing with conflict, and the best way to portray them were through visual media.

Visual storytelling allows journalists to produce and narrate other kinds of information generally difficult to sell to editors.

“The beauty of online journalism is that you can choose what works best,” Ronderos said. “We are creating a new type of storytelling and we are still in the cave stages and have so much more to grow.”

NYT.com City Room Blogger Sewell Chan on Newsroom Integration April 17, 2009

Posted by Kristin in symposium.
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Sewell Chan, blogger for the New York Times metro blog “City Room”  gave a definite yes answer to the question of “Is multimedia, multiplatform newsroom integration working?”  Or at least yes, it is working for the New York Times.

Chan quickly pointed out that he was a traditional print person until two years ago, saying that he was always known for being productive which is probably why he got kind of pushed into blogging.  This was a bit shocking to me, seeing as the switch from print to web and being able to correctly do both is a big controversy these days!

He said 2005 was the  year of integration for the Times and the year in which the first blog was produced.  The Times now has over 70 blogs, which might be a little too much, according to Chan.  2007 was when the Times moved into new headquarters, abling the print and digital staffs to operate under the same roof without separation.


Newsroom Integration, Working?- Jim Brady April 17, 2009

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The Statesman editor, Fred Zipp asked the panel a simple question. “Is newsroom integration working?”

Jim Brady, former Washington Post editor, said no, but qualified it.

Brady feels that having a certain amount of autonomy is key for the Web site to survive on its own. The Web site has to push into things it would not do on its own. There is no right answer to the question. Each paper has to do what is right for them.

Brady noted that, “if you get people to comment on articles, we felt that they will become loyal readers very quickly. We look at those statistics very closely in real time. If newspapers could, they would too.”