Donnerstag, März 15, 2007

The State of the News Media: Gobal Voices

I had a short entry about the 4th Report 'The State of the News media' on my media, marketing & internet blog. Here a heavy quote from this report on the Citizen Journalismus Site Global Voices - one of only four 'High Achievers' in the Digital Journalism section checking on the following criteria's:

- user customization
- user participation
- use of multimedia
- site depth
- editorial branding and
- revenue streams.

This is what the report says about 'Global Voices'

Full quote:
"Of all the Web sites we examined, Global Voices was in many ways the least conventional. The end result was that it scored high in several of the areas we measured. It was the only citizen media site that would fit our definition of a high achiever, a site that earned top marks in three of five content areas.

The site is non-profit, with an emphasis on relating information that the staff editors find interesting, not on providing the top news of the hour (or minute or day).

But Global Voices takes a unique four-step approach to identifying what is interesting. First, rather than searching stories from mainstream news outlets, editors cull through a vast number of blogs from around the world. The editors, who themselves are located across the globe, then decide which postings are worth passing on. Next, they add their own comments or background information to put the blog entries in context. Finally, when necessary, entries are translated into English, often by a different “language” editor.

Take, for example, January 10. In the afternoon the lead was “Philippine free press under attack.” The entry featured a lead-in by an editor noting that the Philippine press has been “one of the freest in the world” since Ferdinand Marcos was deposed, but reporting that the current first family “is harassing journalists by filing libel cases” against them. The post then ran blurbs from the Pinoy Press and the site Freedom Watch. The next post used the same approach to look at the Iraqi government’s efforts to register bloggers.

In our inventory, the site scored well, in the top tier, on customization. While its home page could not be modified by users, there were many RSS and podcast options available to users.

Global Voices was also one of only three sites studied to score in the top tier for depth. It did well because of the large number of stories it grouped together in packages and the archive it included.

The site also earned top marks for the degree to which it was offering a unique brand in which its own editorial process and judgment was emphasized. With thestories chosen by paid editors and with content that came from wholly staff, even when citing other sources, it exercised significant editorial quality control. The banner across the top of the page pays tribute to its many authors. The page’s logo and name sit next to the headshots of four bloggers, each one linking a short bio and a compilation of that blogger’s work. Each post then has the link to the original blog as well as a tag-line of the Global Voices editor. And running down a side column is the list of blog authors and the number of posts each has contributed to date.

The site also scored well, in the second tier, for user participation. It did not offer live discussion and interactive polls, two of the more controversial elements of web participation. But it contained a good deal of opportunity for users interact. In addition to the editorial choices, user content — through a user-based blog — is a big part of this site. At the end of each piece users are invited to “Start the conversation” by posting comments, which are moderated by site editors.

The one content area where this remarkably well rounded site did not stand out is for multimedia. This site is about words, 95% of the content available from the home page was narrative.

The site’s score for revenue streams placed it in the bottom tier as well – perhaps not surprising since it is a non-profit.

The strongest impression one has when visiting this site, however, is its international feel. The largest box of text is a list of countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Next to that is a thinner blue box with a list of topics ranging from Arts & Culture to Governance to History to Youth. Under that is a slim one-line search box that runs the width of the page.

Global Voices is not a site to visit to get the latest headlines or find out what the media are talking about. But it shines a bright light on issues the big media often pass by."

GV and all the profils of the 38 websites checked.