Two news stories from The Nine News and The BuzzFeed will be analised comparatively. The production context, demographics, journalistic contents and technical delivery strategies of two coverages will be evaluated below.
Nine News: Boeing crisis: Trump announces US will ground troubled aircraft
BuzzFeed: The US is grounding all Boeing 737 Max planes over safety concerns
- Nine News
“Nine News is one of Australia’s most comprehensive news networks” (Nine Entertainment Company, 2016). Every month, 9.781 million people view and visit its broadcast and digital properties. The slogan of the website is “live, fast and free” which emphasises the credibility, timeliness and accessibility. This slogan also implies that Nine news abides the journalistic professionalism and dedicates to deliver news correspond with news values (O’Neill & Tony, 2009).
The parent organisation of Nine News is Nine Entertainment Company (NEC) which completed a takeover of Fairfax Media in December 2018. The merging media company could be more supportive to Nine News based on more sources and collaboration among different newsrooms.
In order to adapt the trend of globalisation, Nine News covers international news and draws on the global reach and resources of a network of over 250 reporters around the world.
- BuzzFeed News
BuzzFeed News started with a division of BuzzFeed in December 2011and on July 18, 2018, it has become an independent website to publish news and attract audiences and advertisers. In 2013, Mark Schoofs of ProPublica who was awarded Pulitzer Prize in 2000 was hired to promote investigative reporting in Buzzfeed. For now, BuzzFeed is still proud of its independence and practice of investigative journalism (BuzzFeed, 2019). One of the standout characteristics of BuzzFeed is fostering authentic audience engagement (Wahl-Jorgensen, 2015). BuzzFeed considers it as an effective approach to increase real-world impact instead of being limited on the digital platform.
- Nine News
Reported by Mumbrella, The Nine Network performs competitive in the key 25-54 demographics (Burrowes, 2018, December 2). The Nine Network attaches importance to advertising and it divides the audiences into 30 specific “tribes”. Within these audiences, 10 groups of them visit Nine News regularly, including “Young Mums”, “Wealth Accumulators”, “Social News Influencers”, “Rugby League Fans”, “Rising Wealth Couples”, “International Sport Group”, “Generation Netball Group”, “Established Mums”, “Designer Label Lovers” and “Cricket Fanatics” (Nine Entertainment Company, 2019). People who are in 25 to 55 tend to congregate on Nine News and they got more than 60,000 annual income at least. Furthermore, the requirement of information is one of the commons between these groups. For instance, social news influencers are typical and frequent visitors of Nine News website. They are interested in politics and current affairs. They would like to comment on news and put effort on shaping surrounding people’s opinions as well.
- The BuzzFeed
A statistics report of BuzzFeed indicates that there are nine billion visitors of BuzzFeed content and 70 per cent of them use mobile to view the news and videos on BuzzFeed (DMR, 2016).
Verto Watch (Hwong, 2018, March 7) shows that BuzzFeed is more attractive for people are in their age of 25 to 34 and older than 55.
- Credibility and Balance
Reich (2011) argue that credibility is a crucial criterion for journalists to select the information sources that can be used into a news story and journalists tend to choose the sources that are recognised as credible. Reich suggests that journalistic practice could be reliable and real. This argument could be confirmed in the two stories.
The story on the Nine News is composed of the US President Donald Trump’s announcement, an interview of Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority and official Twitter accounts including Boeing Airplanes and Virgin Australia. The other one from Buzzfeed also try to be credible. Announcements from Trump, the US Federal Aviation Administration and Southwest Airlines are all released officially.
An interesting fact is that Twitter appears to be a credible news source. Broersma and Graham (2013) explain that Twitter can be public and accessible easily, so reporters consider it as an appealing approach to acquire news source. The two news coverages mainly embeded and quoted announcements posted on twitter in journalism discourse.
From these two news stories, opinions of journalists could be reflected. The Buzzfeed news report might be unbalanced because the sources are all stand for the US. However, the US was the last major country who tried not to suspend the fleet after the air crash. It could be more balanced if there are other voices from other countries or opposite opinions in the US. The Nine News used a phrase “in a wake of” to imply that Trump finally realise the necessity of grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9. It seems show the journalist’s attitude to the action of Trump. Nevertheless, journalists analyse the situation based on facts, the contents with a little emotion might also attract audiences.
- Brevity and Scannability
Each sentences and paragraphs of news reports are edited consistenting with brevity put forward by Bradshaw (2013). Basically, a sentence is a paragraph and the length of the articles are not more 500 words which are easy to read and be perceived. Compared with the report on the BuzzFeed, the Nine News uses 12 size and Calibri font which are less readable than the BuzzFeed. The text is distinct because of bigger size and bold font.
Strangely, the Nine News story is written by the cooperate team Cable News Network (CNN), however, I cannot find the original story in CNN and there is no clue of who the reporter is. Additionally, the last part of the story is closely related to Australia which might implies that the journalist concerning about proximity of Australians. Reader’s might not consider it as unreliable, it still could confuse readers owing to illegibility of reporter.
In addition, both the articles embed link to official accounts and their announcements on twitter. However, there is no other external hyperlink in the reports on the Nine News. Three related readings from the Nine News are inserted in middle of the body which might lead to distraction. There are few links in the story on BuzzFeed as well, including 1 links of the air crash in Ethiopia and links to 9 countries’ Civil Aviation Authority Statement.
Bradshaw suggests that brevity in multimedia is also vital. There are two footages in the reports on the Nine News containing the same affair but different with the length and details. The First video is also an introduce of the US fleet grounding which is already covered in the text and tend to be redundant.
- Multimediality, Functionality and adaptability
Although the news piece of the Nine News embeds two footages, as mentioned, one of them might be redundant. The news on BuzzFeed only displays one picture with the name of photographer whereas the Nine News does give a clear title of the picture.
The standpoint of the report in the second video of the Nine News is clearly opposite the delay of grounding announcement in the US. The correspondent in the US, Alexis Daish, points out that the US government make the grounding decision under the accumulating pressure from other countries. The content is along with the text focusing on the announcement and financial loss of Boeing Company. With the professional and energetic voice, it could be attractive for audience and the information that delivered could be easily remembered by viewers. This displays one of the strengths of the Nine News which is a large amount of sources and newsrooms supporting the news production.
However, Pincus, Wojcieszak and Boomgarden (2017) analyse the effectiveness of online journalism embeded multimedia and they assert that text-only readers are able to acquire more story-relevant information than in multimedia circumstance. The demographics of the two media illustrates that the main purpose of them to visit the websites is acquiring latest information instead of enhancing knowledge, so the multimedia performance is better on the Nine News than the BuzzFeed.
- Interactivity and user engagement
There are links to Facebook, Twitter and URL copying which will boost the interactivity and engage more people through social media. However unfortunately, users could not comment on the websites below the two articles. The interactivity about the two news stories might be deficient and the stories could be less impactful in the real-world which disobey the purpose of the BuzzFeed.
The Nine News and the BuzzFeed both have potential to improve considering different elements about online journalism. As a digital-born media, BuzzFeed engages technical strategies effectively. The Nine News is on the solid foundation as a mainstream media and enjoy high reputation among audiences. To sum up, news are easily accessible to everyone currently, so the content and practical strategies are all significant for media to promote their publication.
Broersma, M., & Graham, T. (2013). Twitter as a news source: How Dutch and British newspapers used tweets in their news coverage, 2007–2011. Journalism practice, 7(4), 446-464.
Burrowes,T. (2018, December 2). Seven wins 2018 main channel ratings battle while Nine takes out 25-54 demographic. Retrieved from https://mumbrella.com.au/seven-wins-2018-main-channel-ratings-battle-while-nine-takes-out-25-54-demographic-555188
BuzzFeed. (2019). About BuzzFeed. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/about
DMR. (2019). 38 Amazing BuzzFeed Statistics and Facts. Retrieved from https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/buzzfeed-statistics/4/
Hwong, C. (2018, March 7). Chart of the Week: Tracking the News: Reader Demographics. Retrieved from https://www.vertoanalytics.com/chart-week-tracking-news-reader-demographics/
Nine Entertainment Company. (2016). Nine Network 2016 Ratings Report. Retrieved from https://www.nineentertainmentco.com.au/brand-9news
Nine Entertainment Company. (2019). Our Audience. Retrieved from https://www.nineentertainmentco.com.au/advertise/our-audience
O’Neill, D., & Harcup, T. (2009). News values and selectivity. In The handbook of journalism studies (pp. 181-194). Routledge.
Pincus, H., Wojcieszak, M., & Boomgarden, H. (2017). Do multimedia matter? Cognitive and affective effects of embedded multimedia journalism. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 94(3), 747-771.
Reich, Z. (2011). Source credibility and journalism: Between visceral and discretional judgment. Journalism Practice, 5(1), 51-67.
Wahl-Jorgensen, K. (2015). Resisting epistemologies of user-generated content? Cooptation, segregation and the boundaries of journalism.
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