Convergence Media

“Television” Websites Fall Short

Consumers want to control their media consumption. This is a major shift in power that mainstream media organizations are still struggling with or, in too many cases, simply ignoring.

What’s annoying to those of us who have been involved with the evolution of online news for a while was illustrated by Thom Baggerman’s timeline of online newspaper research, from shovelware (1999) to “basic needs” (2003) that included interactivity and involvement by readers. By 2004, researchers were pointing to the need for a new form of storytelling. Baggerman was speaking at the Convergence and Society: The Changing Media Landscape (#cconf09) in Reno.

I mean, it’s not like the forces facing news organizations simply appeared overnight!

Baggerman examined the LasVegasSun – a joint operating agreement between the Sun and the Review let them focus on the website. They have won a public service Pulitzer and “best of class” awards for their class (usually based on readership numbers). LVS makes it very easy to share multimedia content – unlike most news sites.

Baggerman examined newspaper websites for best practices (including WaPo and NYT), and then used those heuristics to analyze “television” websites. His conclusion: the TV sector should look to newspaper sites to learn how to share the content where they are supposedly the expert: “video.”


By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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