In this journalism analysis, I will write a critical comparison of online news stories published by the SBS News and the CIO. Both are well established online news and digital born services, and both of them are online news service providers offering news services to audience. The SBS News belongs to mainstream media in Australia, while the CIO is a digital born commercial news service with a global scale of target audience in worldwide markets. In this analysis I will compare the roles, unique market offers, target user groups and demographics, story cover, and content production and delivery of the two news services. Through the comparison I will identify the most effective and engaging presentation of news stories.
- Histories and Product Contexts of the Two News Publications
Owned by the Australian government, the SBS News is a product of the brand SBS (The Special Broadcasting Service). As a hybrid-funded broadcaster, SBS is also funded from the Australian government and through commercial activities, and the majority of the funding of SBS comes from Government appropriation (SBS, 2022). SBS News provide public services to the audience in Australia. Audience from other countries or regions could also get access to SBS easily in multiple platforms. As the service provider funded by the Australian government, SBS is driven by the Australian Charter, championing the benefits of an inclusive society, and inspiring Australians to better understand and respect each other (SBS, 2022). As a public broadcaster and news service provider, SBS plays an important role of deciding what news to report and how to cover events, offering balanced, impartial, trustworthy and editorial independent contents to the target audience, fostering public debate, and providing a platform for a variety of voices and programming styles that reflect the diverse needs and perspectives of the wider community (Blanco, 2022). SBS also offers unique market offerings to the public, including more than 60 languages of service offering, supporting migrant communities and First Nations Australians, maintaining diversity in the Australian media landscape, and stretching to various platforms, i.e. TikTok, to enhance content offering with new audiences (SBS, 2022).
CIO was first a monthly magazine founded in 1987 in the United States, and the magazine began to offer online digital services since 1996 and has ceased offline publication since 2015 (Wikipedia, 2023). CIO belongs to the category of business magazine related to technology and IT content. CIO is owned by Boston-based IDG company (International Data Group), and the coverage of the magazine includes three main aspects of companies offering hardware, software and related services, technical topics, and industry trends (Wikipedia, 2023). It is privately owned by IDG company. CIO provides target audience with a global community services about technology and IT based content. The CIO community have more than 1,600 members among over 12 countries across the world, and it also offers IT practitioners and senior IT executives places for the betterment of professional communication and education (CIO, 2023). For those chief information officers in the technology and IT industries, CIO could provide them with professional content delivering and community-based forum for further communication and better improvement in their career journeys.
- Target User Groups and Demographics Analysis
From the above discussion we have identified that SBS has a wider coverage of information than CIO, while CIO has more professional, focused and targeting service offering in the content. SBS’s TV service reaches 13 million of Australians every week, the audience are premium, influential and have an intimate relationship with SBS TV (SBS Media, 2023). This data has shown that SBS has a wide and strong base of audience in Australia. According to the demographics features of the target audience, male audience occupies 51.67 percent of the total amount of audience, a little bit higher than the proportion of female audience of 48.33 percent, and Australians age between 25 to 34 are the biggest age group among the audience visiting SBS news through desktop’s website (Similar Web, 2023). SBS has a wide coverage of media kits in delivering digital news services to improve the users’ experiences in multi-platforms. For example, SBS Radio has restricted the advertisement in the content to offer users with better experience of receiving news content, users could listen with intensity in different languages or in their mother tongues, and SBS programs have also covered tailored contents for specific migration patterns, settlement information and robust talkback (SBS Media, 2022). As for CIO, it has the target user of practitioners, senior executives and chief information officers in the technology and IT industry. The user demographics data of CIO shows a bigger proportion of male users, at about 63.22 percent of the total user amount, while female users are about 36.78 percent, and users in the age from 25-34 are still the biggest age group using CIO’s digital services (Similar Web, 2023).
- Coverage of News Stories
In this section I have chosen two pieces of news stories published by SBS News and CIO respectively. The first news story is published by SBS News in 2015, reporting on the digital competitiveness of Australia and the importance of Australia having a firm aim to improve digital competitiveness in the global scale through improving the ICT usage (the information and communication technology) (SBS News, 2015). The second news story is published by CIO in the same month. The article was written by one of the user with focuses on the same topic, while giving more professional analysis of the digital competitiveness of Australia in details and suggest Australia to keep improve ICT development projects (Gardiner, 2015).
For online digital news services, publications should provide contents to the users following principles that adhere to digital platforms and habits. According to Paul Bradshaw, there are five basic principles in writing for publications to publish contents on the web and deliver related services to the digital users, and the five basic are brevity, adaptability, scannability, interactivity, and community (or conversation). Between the two selected news stories about Australia’s digital competitiveness and ICT usage improvement, both two publications have condensed their writing to be brief and succinct. SBS has more direct quotations from interviews and professionals, which has added the scannability of the news story, and CIO has developed in-depth analysis of the situation of the phenomena with professional description, which has added the adaptability of the writing. As for the interactivity and community, SBS has listed truth and opinions without more explanation, while CIO has improved engagement with audiences through using readable languages, through combining the life experiences users could fast follow up the description. Besides, some professional terminologies applied by CIO’s content has increased the community with its target audience (although it has reduced the communication with generic and non-professional audience).
- Comparative Analysis
- Writing and content production
From the above discussion and application of relevant theory, we have now recognized the different characteristics of the two publications. The direct quote of interviews, the reference of reliable source and the straightforward writing content have added credibility of SBS’s news content. CIO’s news article has added more analysis to make the content more credible. Comparing to SBS, CIO has produced a better webpage layout, which has added reading experience for the audience.
- Online delivery
SBS has published the news content about half month earlier than CIO, this is because SBS News has the identification of delivering the newest content to the audience on time. Although the writing and the layout have not been perfectly designed, the users of SBS could firstly know about the relevant news and the key words. SBS is more functioning as a news tool. CIO has added more analysis to the news content, which is much more helpful for the communication of the target users in the community.
- Technical delivery
Both of the two publication have linked relevant social media platforms for quick transferring of the news content. CIO has also added the tag of “innovation” in the news content, pointing out the implication of the news content from the writer, for the better understanding of the audience.
In this journalism analysis I have compared two publications, SBS News and CIO, about their online digital service providing. I have selected two journals from the two publications focusing on one topic. From the comparative analysis, I think in the perspective of receiving news on time, SBS has done well in delivering fresh news. But CIO’s application of high level of interactivity, adaptability and community is a most eﬀective, engaging presentation of the information.
- Reference List
Blanco, C. (2022). How does media work in Australia? https://www.sbs.com.au/language/english/en/podcast-episode/how-does-media-in-australia-work/zzov16xin
Bradshaw, P. (2018). The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Digital Age (2nd ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315761428
CIO. (2023). About Us. https://www.cio.com/about-us/
Gardiner, B. (April 30, 2015). Australian ICT usage ‘very high’: World Economic Forum. https://www.cio.com/article/206135/australian-ict-usage-very-high-world-economic-forum.html
SBS. (2022). Corporate Plan 2022-23.
SBS. (2022). Who we are and how we operate. https://help.sbs.com.au/hc/en-au/articles/5062119989007-Who-we-are-and-how-we-operate-
SBS Media. (2023). Reach More Australians. https://www.sbsmedia.com.au/reach-more-australians/
SBS Media. (2022). SBS Radio Media Kit. https://www.sbsmedia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/SBS-Media_Radio-Media-Kit_0.pdf
SBS News. (April 15, 2015). Australia’s digital competitiveness lifts. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/australias-digital-competitiveness-lifts/7gpu45h6b
Similar Web. (2023). cio.com Audience Demographics.
Similar Web. (2023). sbs.com.au.
Wikipedia. (2023). CIO(magazine). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIO_(magazine)