Comparative Online News Journalism Analysis: NINE News and memeburn

“Two Top Facebook Executives Are Departing”

NINE News: https://www.9news.com.au/

Publishing Context:

Top Facebook executives leave as tech giant says it’s fixed outage

 

NINE News is part of Nine’s assets which initiated in 1956 and based on the commercial television network. NINE Network started its digital news website and services in 2008. According to its website, Nine has become the largest locally owned media company in Australia since 2018 and it involves a wide range of media services such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and nine.com.au. (About us, Nine news) Nine news is the national news service with great popularity in Australia.

NINE News is devoted to present the news and information with various kinds of topics including finance, sport, entertainment and lifestyles. The creation of great content is the key strategy for them to attract audiences and advertisers and earn profits. According to NINE website, data scientists indicate that their target audiences are divided into 30 groups such as Home Chefs, Young mums and Young Family Travellers, which obviously provide huge business opportunities to attract advertisers. Since there are no limitations for audiences to reach the news in NINE website, it also brought them huge advertising opportunities. As such advertising avenues are considered as the largest part of their incomes.

Alexa indicates that the majority of users of NINE News website come from Australia. There are much more female audiences than male readers using this news website. Moreover, audiences who use the site vary widely in age, income and education level. Interestingly, the website is most frequently used by a high percentage of women with less educated, middle-aged and senior generation and normally high salaries.

 

Alexa: Visitors by Country

 

Alexa: Audience Demographics

 

Incompatibility with ‘BASIC’ principles

There is a bit of disorder and confusion between paragraphs. According to Bradshaw’s ‘BASIC’ principles (2018), online news stories should be based on the‘inverted pyramid’ structure and have a clear summary. However, the paragraphs seem to be disordered and chaotic in this news article. Especially in the paragraph5 and 6. The function of paragraph 5 is quite questionable since it is not much related to the two topics of the article or is regarded as the background information of the ‘Facebook’s outage. If it is included in background information, it would be better to change the order of these two paragraphs since it could contribute to the consistency of the paragraphs and enable the audiences to have a better understanding of the messages that the article conveys.

 

Multimediality and Hypertextuality

Paulussen (2004) indicates that images, audios, graphs, slideshows and videos are considered as the significant criteria to measure the multimediality of online news articles. This article combines the video and text to illustrate the news, which shows one of the characteristics of online journalism, that is, multimedia. Having said this, the video in this article ‘who is Mark Zuckerberg?’ is about the introduction of the CEO of Facebook, which is not relevant to neither the topic of Top Facebook executives leave nor Facebook fixed outage. Therefore, the structure and arrangement of this article are questionable and audiences may be misled and confused to some extent. Furthermore, there are no images or graph in the news story. According to Chung, Nam& Stefanone (2012), multimedia features should play a role in integrating the whole context and improving the online delivery of news. However, there is no sufficient evidence to prove that in this news story.

 

screenshot of NINE News report , video

 

It would be better if the video could provide some fundamental background information about the news. For example, the introduction of two top Facebook executives or information about Facebook’s outage. Furthermore, more images regarding the topic should be included in the news story.

Paulussen’s (2004) definition about ‘Hypertextuality’ indicates the connection between different texts including the internal and external hyperlinks. It is reasonable to set the external hyperlink to enable readers to have easy access to the detailed information from DownDetector.

 

screenshot of NINE News report

 

However, the lack of hyperlinks about the information which is difficult to find would potentially undermine the credibility of news. More hyperlinks about the background news information of Facebook executives leave and Facebook’s outage is required to give audiences the basic overviews of the events. For example, the hyperlink could be added on the phrase ‘reports CNN’ to provide audiences with the original news reports about Facebook’s technical issues. It would in a way increase the accuracy and credibility of the news story.

screenshot of NINE News report

 

Interactivity

Deuze’ s (2003) definition of three types of interactivity includes navigational interactivity, functional interactivity and adaptive interactivity. Nine news website provides some social media sharing links at the beginning of the article, which enables audiences to make comments and discuss with their friends. Therefore, it creates interactivity between readers and their friends to some degree. Besides, the act of ‘sharing news’ activities also contribute to the dissemination of the news itself and thus increase the discussion and interactivity in the public. Importantly, the four tags at the end of the article also make readers more convenient to find some other relevant articles.

 

screenshot of NINE News report
screenshot of NINE News report

 

However, there is no interaction between readers and between readers and the author as Nine news website did not provide online comments sections, which also in a way prevents people from sharing their viewpoints with other readers and author and therefore reduce the degree of interactivity.

 

 

 

memeburn: https://memeburn.com/

Publishing Context:

Two top Facebook executives leave the company, Zuckerberg announced

 

Founded in 2010 and established as a news website, memeburn is digital born media and focus on technology news and events around the world. As a part of Burn media, memeburn was created by South African entrepreneur Matthew Buckland and focus on the analysis of a wide range of technological topics and news ranging from social media, mobile to general technology. (About, memeburn)

According to Alexa, the primary readers of this news website are well-educated workforce. Moreover, there are more women than men in using this site. The younger and middle generation with middle and lower income are more engaged in using memeburn. More than half of their traffic is from the U.S, South Africa and India. Advertising revenue is the major income of the website.

 

From Alexa

 

Interactivity

Similar to the Nine News website, memeburn also provides readers with social media sharing links to express their perspectives about news and some related articles to search effectively.

Screenshot of memeburn news

 

Nevertheless, what is different is that there is an online comment function at the end of the article on the memeburn site. It means that readers can make comments freely and exchange their opinions with other audiences on the news page without accessing other social media websites, which in a way enhance the interactivity of the news website. In addition, readers can communicate with the authors directly after reading the news, which reveals the second level of ‘functional interactivity’ proposed by Deuze (2003). Thus, it is more acceptable and convenient for readers to use memeburn website from ‘interactivity’ perspective.

screenshot of memeburn page

 

Multimediality and Hypertextuality

Unlike the unrelated video posted in the Nine News’ story, memeburn news story provides a feature image about Facebook. The image itself is simple but reveals the features of technology and social media. However, this news story also did not provide sufficient images, audio, slideshows or video about background information about two top Facebook executives leave the company or Zuckerberg’s announcement. As such multimedia forms are required to integrate and improve online delivery news.

When it comes to ‘Hypertextuality’ perspective, there is only one hyperlink in memeburn news story. It is reasonable that the author chooses to add an external hyperlink on the ‘blog post’ since it is the significant background information of the topic. As such people can go through the detailed official announcement, which in a way enhance the accuracy and credibility of the news article.

 

Functionality and accessibility

These two news pages are functional and accessible and external hyperlinks both open in new pages. However, the related article links are functional but open on the same page, which makes it inconvenient for readers who desire to keep several news articles at the same time.

 

Besides, the text of memeburn’s news story is brief and straightforward with white space, which is functional and easy for readers to extract messages. Whereas the expression of Nine news story is a bit of chaotic, which may cause the audience to have difficulty understanding the main messages of the articles.

 

In conclusion, having said that the online delivery of these two news stories is functional and accessible to some extent, there are a few characteristics of online news stories regarding interactivity, multimediality and hypertextuality should be improved and modified. Overall, the presentation of memeburn news in this news topic is slightly better than Nine news due to its brevity and high level of interactivity. Altogether, given that one of the most significant facts is that the integration and combination of text, images, audio, video, graphs and slideshows would certainly exert a profound influence on the online journalism, news editors and producers are required to maximize the characteristics of the online news and produce functional and accessible news pages to meet the increasing demands of readers.

 

References

‘About Us’, memeburn. Available https://memeburn.com/about/ Accessed 23 March 2019

‘About Us’, Nine News. Available https://www.nineentertainmentco.com.au/about-us  Accessed 23 March 2019

Bradshaw, P., & Rohumaa, L. (2017). Writing for the web. In The online journalism handbook: Skills to survive and thrive in the digital age. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au

Chung, C., Nam, Y., & Stefanone, M. (2012). Exploring Online News Credibility: The Relative Influence of Traditional and Technological Factors. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 17(2), 171–186. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2011.01565.x

Deuze, Ma. (2003). The Web and its Journalisms: Considering the Consequences of Different Types of Newsmedia Online. New Media & Society, 5(2), 203–230. doi:10.1177/1461444803005002004

Paulussen,S. (2004). Online News Production in Flanders: How Flemish Online Journalists Perceive and Explore the Internet’s Potential. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 9(4). doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2004.tb00300.x

Top Facebook executives leave as tech giant says it’s fixed outage, Nine News, 17 March 2019. Available

https://finance.nine.com.au/2019/03/15/06/52/news-business-facebook-says-it-has-fixed-global-outage-and-denies-cyberattack Accessed 23 March 2019

Two top Facebook executives leave the company, Zuckerberg announced, memeburn, 15 March 2019. Available

https://memeburn.com/2019/03/two-top-facebook-executives-leave-the-company-zuckerberg-announced/ Accessed 23 March 2019

About Christine Chen 5 Articles
A student who is currently studying The Master of Media Practice. Contact me at Christi04953294 Twitter

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