Online News Story Analysis: ‘Ai Weiwei: Chinese dissident artist critiques Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers ahead of Sydney Biennale’

This news article published by ABC News Online, is a ‘mobile-optimised’ site, distributed by the national news service, ABC News. Content has been tailored to fit mobile ‘screen size and orientation’ for increased visibility whilst the ‘bandwidth’ has been adjusted to speed up page load time (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, p. 13).

McDonald has used ‘chunking’ as an effective way to break up text however, the number of images and hyperlinks need to be reduced to de-clutter the desktop interface. Despite slow-load time, the busy page could distract users and lead to a decline in foot traffic.

User-generated content could be taken from a comments section and form the political discussion or debate as the premise for a podcast centring on Australia’s refugee intake. The podcast could involve an interview between artist Ai Wei Wei and Biennale’s Artistic Director, Mami Kataoka , published on the ABC Listen App, furthering ABC News’ multi-medial reputation.

The original byline could be substituted for McDonald’s Twitter page so users can ‘follow’ the journalist, ‘tweet’ or ‘share’ the article on their own web and social media platforms. Tactical hyperlinks enhance the overall news ‘value’ in terms of the ‘transparency’ and ‘credibility’ of information (Bradshaw 2017, p. 31).    

Word Count: 205



Bradshaw, P. 2017, The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to survive and thrive in the digital age. 2nd ed. Oxon, New York, Routledge.

Hinton, S. & Hjorth, L. 2013, ‘What is Web 2.0?’ In Understanding Social Media, London & Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp. 7-31.

About Olivia Gorman 3 Articles
Liv Gorman is a writer and producer in Sydney. She is a graduate from the Bachelor of Arts in Comms (Writing and Cultural Studies) at UTS and is studying a Masters of Publishing in Sydney University. She co-produces a storytelling evening, Generation Women Sydney and finds inspiration in theatre, poetry and fiction.

1 Comment

  1. Excellent feature image Olivia – immediate & emotive. I agree that the byline is less effective than a Twitter profile link and suggest the images would work better loaded into a slide show, so that people reading the story could choose to browse the art after reading the text. The podcast/radio interview is a nice idea, but more the stuff of a feature, rather than a news story. It’s the sort of thing you’d hear on 702 Sydney or RN’s brekky show.
    A few other thoughts for your full analysis
    – Rather than just using the link word “article”, try some search engine optimisation with the link e.g. This ABC News article about “Chinese artist Ai WeiWei”
    – an article is not a site. In your opening sentence I think you mean “this article…is published on a mobile optimised site”. It’s not very well optimised though, as Phillipa McDonald’s bio is not available on the Android mobile version!
    – you suggested the number of links needed to be reduced. However the links are simply to larger, high resolution versions of the images from the documentary. What other linked material might enhance this story? A link to Ai WeiWei’s bio from the exhibition and one to the website for Human Flow would be useful.

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