Comparative Journalism Analysis: ABC Online News vs Yahoo! News

The news article- A Russian tourist was arrested in suspected of drugging and smuggling orangutan.

The two-year old orangutan looks out of a cage after being confiscated in Bali, Indonesia.
The two-year old orangutan looks out of a cage after being confiscated in Bali, Indonesia. Nyoman Hendra Wibowo, image owned by the ABC

This critical analysis focuses on the comparison of two news stories from ABC Online News and Yahoo! News in the aspects of the Publishing Context, Journalistic Contents, Online delivery, and Technical Delivery.

ABC Online News: Bali officials detain Russian man suspected of drugging and smuggling orangutan

Publishing Context

The ABC online news is operated by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which serves as a publicly-funded media organization. The owner of which is the Government of Australia. ABC Annual Report (2018) analyses that the hallmarks of ABC are independent, high-impact reporting and the production of quality factual content. According to SimilarWeb (2019), Up to 99% news items produced by ABC online news itself. The ABC plays a leading role in journalistic independence and is the foundation in the history of Australian Journalism.

The Alexa’s Audience Geography for ABC Online News
The Audience Geography for ABC Online News, Alexa

ABC Annual Report concludes (2016) that the average monthly reach of ABC Online in Australia is 7.6 million, which is 38% of online Australians. An average of 8.4 million domestic and international visitors browse ABC Online news each week from 2015 to 2016. In this case, Alexa (2019) illustrates that the targeted readership of the ABC Online News would be older than 45-year-old Australians, which tend to have a tertiary education background. The total ABC metropolitan average weekly reach 9.1 million people or 54.8% of the ve-city metropolitan population in 2015-2016. According to the ABC annual report 2016, among those who ever use the ABC website,  91% of users feel that ABC Online did a ‘good job’ with respect to the amount of relevant content it provides, while 42% describing it as ‘very good’.

Journalistic Content

Bali officials detain Russian man suspected of drugging and smuggling orangutan
Screenshot from ABC News website

The title of this news article in ABC Online News summaries the story clearly in containing the news elements of who, what, and why. Unlike the Yahoo! News that provides fairly detailed information in the quotation in its news story, ABC Online News shows its objectivity in illustrating facts of the story.

This news story attributes the publishing time and journalists accurately at the beginning of the texts. However, this attribution does not include the contact details of the journalist, which would be inconvenient if readers would like to have further discussion with the journalists for detailed information in the news story. Besides that, there are two still images included in the news story, however, the attribution of which is not integral in missing the licenses of the image.

Online Delivery 

The Two still images in orangutan show their relevance to the story, however, the audiovisual enhancement to the audiences are not enough without providing related audio clips and video footages, such as the video in “Fighting to save orangutans from extinction” could be inserted into the article to give a background information of the real situation of the species of orangutans.

Tapas(2006)gives a definition of multimediality and hypertextuality that their display on the page provides the background information and context. The two hyperlinks in the threat of distinct animals back up this news article and show the advantage in a reading volume of the website by linking to the ABC’s own related news articles. On the other hand, the ABC online news limits the readership in their own website would narrow the choice of users to experience website interactive features. Besides that, ABC online news shows its shortage in interactive aspects in comparison to the Yahoo! News, which do not contain any comments or sharing parts to collect the review of the articles. 

Technical Delivery

"Key points" in Bali officials detain Russian man suspected of drugging and smuggling orangutan
screenshot from the ABC online news

Compared with Yahoo! News,  ABC Online News is more functional in providing the “Key Points” of the news article, which would give the audience a central idea of the story. All the links in the story work smoothly and are clearly labeled. Also, the article is easy to found and navigated on the homepage of the ABC Online News website.

the use of tags in ABC online News
screenshot from the ABC online news
the use of tags in Yahoo!News
screenshot from the Yahoo! News website

Furthermore, in comparison to Yahoo! News, the use of tags in the ABC online News details the story in different related aspects. which make it easier for users to find this article when searching the related topics.

Yahoo! News: Russian tourist arrested in Bali after authorities find drugged orangutan in his luggage

Publishing Context

Yahoo! News is a digital-born online publication as an internet-based news aggregator by the multinational technology company- Yahoo. The Yahoo! News is not a news-producing organization. Instead, they redistribute news items originally produced by other news organizations such as the Associated Press, Al Jazeera, Reuters, ABC News, Fox News, USA Today, BBC and CNN News.

Due to the plan in becoming a major media organization, Yahoo! News expanded its focus to include original content in 2011. The Alexa (2013) claim that Yahoo! News is one of the world’s top news sites. Watanabe (2013) states that capitalizing on the international character of the Internet, Yahoo! News operates transnationally and develop services targeted toward overseas markets, which breaks the limits in news delivery in regions. Although Yahoo! News might be able to cover parts of the underreported countries or regions in international news, those news coverages are still small due to the larger news coverage in the US.

The Alexa’s Audience Geography for Yahoo! News
Screenshot from yahoo.com Traffic Statistics, Alexa
Yahoo!news traffic by countries
Screenshot in Yahoo!news traffic by countries, SimilarWeb

According to SimilarWeb (2019),  41.06% traffic in Yahoo! News comes from the United States, which makes the American becomes the targeted audience group. According to NetRatings (2004), Yahoo! News has the number of audience in 21 million which is roughly half of Yahoo! Web Search.

Comparing News and Web Search Engines
Comparing News and Web Search Engines uploaded by Gianna Del Corso, Research Gate

Journalistic Content

Russian tourist arrested in Bali after authorities find drugged orangutan in his luggage
Screenshot from the title of Yahoo! News article

The headline does a good job in explaining the news story in the element of who, what, why. The news is in the section of style in Yahoo! News website on March 24, 2019. This News article comes from Yahoo! News UK with clear journalists attribution- Ellan  Manning, her profile image, and direct contact details in her twitter.

Different from the ABC Online News, two images covered in this news article with detailed attribution and clear license information. However, there is not much balance shows in this news article, the journalists mainly provide the quotes from the representative in province’s conservation agency-Ketut Catur Marbawa, which makes the news angle relatively narrow and makes the illustration not much objective. 

Online Delivery 

The “Correlation Table For Users Top Stories” (2007) conclude that Yahoo! News is the most recommended stories on the site, which are navigated in correlation with the use of multimedia features such as the accompanying photos or stills, audio clips, and video footage. As for the Multimedial materials in the news story only include two still images, which is not fully explained the story. The news story should increase the audiovisual enhancement to containing more audio clips, and video footages. Besides that, the hyperlink in “A Russian tourist has been arrested after trying to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of the Indonesian resort island of Bali,” which sets as an effective example to provide the background information in this news story. However, the other links in “Read more” show not enough relevances to the story.

hyperlinks in Russian tourist arrested in Bali after authorities find drugged orangutan in his luggage
The hyperlink screenshot in Yahoo! News website

Started from December 19, 2006, Yahoo! News allowed comments for news articles, even though comments disabled for the certain period of time, they made it operated smoothly at the end of 2011. So far the news story has received 29 reactions from the reader, which shows an active user’s engagement. These feedbacks would also give a clue for the website in understanding the preference of the readers. Yahoo! News Answers is currently the largest existing CQA site, which is the question-centric system (Dror et al., 2011). Besides asking and answering questions, users can star interesting questions, vote, and rate for the answers. Furthermore, users can trace questions to receive activity updates. 

Yahoo! News comments
the screenshot of the reactions in Yahoo! News Website

Technical Delivery

The page is functional and accessible to a certain level, which is easy for readers to navigate. The legibility of the text is suitable for reading. However, hyperlinks in this news article would direct into another news website, which makes it more complicated for users to link back. Thus, setting the hyperlink to open a new page of the additional news article could be an effective method. As mentioned before, this news article in Yahoo! News has a similar shortage with the analyzed articles in ABC Online News. Both of them do not contain the playable multimedia files to give the audience a more intuitive audiovisual experience in the news story.

Reference List

ABC Annual Report. (2016). Retrieved 29th March 2019 from http://about.abc.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ABCAnnualReport2016.pdf

ABC Annual Report. (2018). Retrieved 29th March 2019 from http://about.abc.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ABCAnnualReport2016.pdf

Alexa. (2013). The top 500 sites on the web.Retrieved 29th March 2019 from https://www.alexa.com/topsites/category/Top/News

SimilarWeb.(2019). Yahoo.com.Retrieved 29th March 2019 from https://www.similarweb.com/website/yahoo.com

Alexa. (2019). abc.net.au Traffic Statistics.Retrieved 29th March 2019 from https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/abc.net.au

Curtain, P. A., Dougall, E., & Mersey, R. D.(2007). Correlation Table For Users Top Stories (Ed.), Study Compares Yahoo! News Story Preferences. Retrieved 29th March 2019 from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/073953290702800403

Dror, G., Koren, Y., Maarek, Y., & Szpektor, I. (2011). I Want to Answer, Who Has a Question? Yahoo! Answers Recommender System. Retrieved 29th March 2019 from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Idan_Szpektor/publication/221654641_I_want_to_answer_Who_has_a_question_Yahoo_answers_recommender_system/links/541076670cf2f2b29a410ce9/I-want-to-answer-Who-has-a-question-Yahoo-answers-recommender-system.pdf

DW NEWS. (2019, Jan 29).Fighting to save orangutans from extinction [Video file]. Retrieved 29th March 2019 from https://www.dw.com/en/fighting-to-save-orangutans-from-extinction/av-47281327

Netratings, N. (2014). Comparing News and Web Search Engines. Retrieved 29th March 2019 from https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Comparing-News-and-Web-Search-Engines-October-2004-Nielsen-Netratings_fig1_221023224

Ray, T. (2006). Multimediality, Interactivity and Hypertextuality, in Online Journalism, New Delhi: Foundation Books 

Watanabe, K. (2013). The western perspective in Yahoo! News and Google News: Quantitative analysis of geographic coverage of online news. Retrieved 29th March 2019 from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1748048512465546

 

 

About Jovy Fan 3 Articles
I am a graduate student majoring in Master of Media Practice at the University of Sydney. My Twitter account is @FanJovy.

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