A dramatic eye roll from a Chinese reporter on state television has caused heated discussion. Multiple stories have been published on both mainstream and participatory news services. In this article, stories from both ABC News Online and Huffington Post would be analyzed regarding publication biography, journalistic content, web 2.0 value as well as production value.
Launched in 1932, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is funded by the Australia Federal Government but specifically independent of Government and politics in the Commonwealth (ABC History, n.d.). The excellent delivered Australian stories and conversations have turned the ABC into a diverse mainstream media and a public broadcaster of global renown (Ibid.).
Located in Ultimo NSW, the corporation provides broadcast and digital media services either throughout metropolitan and regional Australia or overseas (ABC at a glance, n.d.). Business Affairs work in consultation with the content part, but independently contribute to generating revenue for reinvestment through a range of media business (Australia Broadcasting Corporation, 2016). The corporation has employed 4908 staff with 4183 full-time, and the majority as content generators. (Australia Broadcasting Corporation, 2016).
According to 2017 ABC Annual Report, “We make content for all Australians, about all Australians”, which probably suggests their target audience is every Australian. However, the ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie addressed in 2017 that the ABC has significant audience gaps: socially, culturally and geographically. Actually, the ABC did especially well on maintaining audiences aged over 55 who are good educated and viewers under 12 while the 18 to 39-year-old age group fell (Call for shrinking ABC to target audience, 2002). According to Alexa, the proportion of males in the target audience is slightly higher than that of females, and a majority of the audience views through desktop computers.
The story was written in a structured form with an accurate third person statement. By starting with the most important details, the writer adopts the inverted pyramid news writing mode.
A clear and strong title with keywords successfully catches the attention of the audience. The lead presents basic information about this story accurately with key points in the bullet accompanied by. The cover image of two videos has been selected intentionally to match the title and attract audience by showing eye rolls. All these elements contribute to a professional beginning of online news story.
Carton image of two Chinese reports in the middle of the story suits this hilarious live broadcast accident and also maintains the interest of audience.
The journalist intends to seek social significance by digging thorough information from multiple sources. The expanding of the story covers social media imitators, background information, social media comments, the annual political sessions details and government response, both providing a more complete view, and improving the political significance of this story.
All the sources, including images and videos, have been clearly identified for the accuracy of reporting, such as “As did completely unverified claims” and “China’s army of netizens also started to unearth details”.
Web 2.0 value
The story can be shared on multiple media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Email, without logging in which enhances interactivity. Moreover, all the sharing functions are opened in a new tab. Two videos of the story are embedded which can be easily watched without leaving the main page. However, there is no comment area for users whether logging in or not.
Hyperlinks are used in author, text, and videos, including two related ABC story links. By simply clicking the name of the author, the introduction with a series of his articles followed would appear on a new page. To maintain audiences and further interaction, different social media accounts can be followed by clicking the logos under “CONNECT WITH ABC NEWS”. In the text, hyperlinks play the role of interpreting definitions and background information related to China, such as “the Belt and Road infrastructure” and “China’s pre-eminent social media platform WeChat”, which some ABC News audiences are not familiar with.
The story writes in short paragraphs and makes most of clear and balanced white space. All the hyperlinks provided are functional but cannot be opened in a new tab preventing losing the story. And videos in Mandarin with no English caption result in understanding barrier failing to meet the needs of the ABC audience with a multi-cultural background. Furthermore, the quality of the second video is not visually clear enough.
Funded in 2005, the Huffington Post is a digital-born service offering news, satire, blogs, and original content concerning multiple fields. It was rebranded to HuffPost in 2017. HuffPost Australia was launched in 2015 and located at 45 Clarence St in Sydney (HuffPost Australia – About Us, n.d.).
According to Alexa, HuffPost Australia is not as popular as before. Shaw noted in 2011 that their target audience is anyone who interested in business and the content would be anything that executives might be interested in. Audience demographic of HuffPost is concentrated on highly-educated females aged from 18 to 49 years old and households with incomes above $150,000 (AUDIENCE ANALYSIS BEHIND THE AOLHUFFINGTON POST DEAL, 2011). As Alexa also shows that visitors from work and home occupies the majority of HuffPost audiences.
Shaw indicated in 2011 that the core business model of HuffPost would still rely on advertising while new sources of revenue would be sought.
Different from the ABC story, this article appears to be shorter and unbalanced. Instead of applying strong and accurate language like the ABC, many ambiguous words are used. For example, “sets off a social media storm” could be more accurate and direct for describing the popularity of this incident than “social media users can’t deal” in title. Moreover, “People even recreated the moment on film” as precede without any keyword obviously fails to tell the main point of the story at the beginning and attract audience. It could use “Chinese reporter’s dramatic eye-rolling booms on social media” instead.
Many essential online news writing elements are missing in this article. Bullet points with keywords could be listed for providing a brief idea. The lack of video and image on the main page results in an estrangement from the attention on news. The limited expanding of the story begets narrow value of this story to some extent. Related stories could be provided like the ABC to increase its social and political significance. For example, “China’s Parliament Votes to Abolish Presidential Term Limits” which also happened at the annual Two Session could be linked, so as stories about how Chinese government controls online content.
By simply stating what happened and collecting opinions from netizens which everyone can achieve by themselves, stronger and more unique standpoints online could be selected to build up a stronger argument.
More importantly, a conversation could be created according to the nature of HuffPost to contribute to a better online engagement, such as investigating users’ attitude towards the ban imposed by Chinese government to block the connected online information related to this incident.
Web 2.0 value
Same as the ABC, the story can be shared on different media platforms and can be easily followed by clicking the logos beside. Both ABC News and HuffPost allow the access to journalists’ twitter account, however, there is not much interaction between users and journalists on Twitter and little evidence proving that users respond to the authors through these links.
When it comes to the text, it does not include any hyperlink to introduce background information and related news stories that audiences may be interested. Several twitter hashtags are used while none of them could be opened in a new tab. Otherwise, it would be more convenient if the readers have access to news while viewing Twitter.
By comparison, HuffPost Australia is dedicated to main a community that actively engages in lively discussions (The Huffington Post Australia FAQs, n.d.). As its high reliance on user-generated and integrated content, commenting turns to be one of the most essential parts of this platform. However, users have to comment with their Facebook account logging in and the comments would be pre-moderated by moderation team before being displayed for the purpose of maintaining a respectful, engaging and informative conversation environment. Nevertheless, the rules and the long-lasting moderation process decrease the interactivity to a great extent (The Huffington Post FAQs, n.d.).
A suggestion link has been created at the end of every story to alter a factual or typographical error, effectively promoting the engagement. The suggestion box opens on the same page with a small new tab. Thus, the users could be able to alter the error while they are reading.
However, the page map design of HuffPost is not functional enough, with no place for logging in on the main page and an unavailable logging in link provided by FAQs at the end of the official page. This serious collapse shows little concern on user experience by HuffPost with no notification or backup plan offered. An email has been sent according to the technical support address provided by HuffPost. What shocked more is that the email never gets the chance to reach HuffPost since the address was being told unavailable at the end.
It is obvious that HuffPost has a long way to go on user experience improvement and website building.
ABC History. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://about.abc.net.au/abc-history/
ABC at a glance. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://about.abc.net.au/who-we-are/abc-fast-facts/
Australia Broadcasting Corporation. (2016). Annual Report 2016 From The Everyday To The Extraordinary. Retrieved from: http://about.abc.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ABCAnnualReport2016.pdf
Australia Broadcasting Corporation. (2017). Annual Report 2017 Investing in Audiences. Retrieved from: http://about.abc.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ABC7171_AR_2017_Vol1_tagged_v4.pdf
ABC Managing Director Address to employees – Investing in Audiences. (2017). Retrieved from: http://about.abc.net.au/speeches/abc-md-address-to-staff-investing-in-audiences/
Call for shrinking ABC to target audience. (2002). Retrieved from: https://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/04/08/1017206307279.html
HuffPost Australia – About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/p/huffpost-australia-about-us
Shaw, L. (2011). Business Insider Grows the Way of the Huffington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.thewrap.com/business-insider-next-huff-post-31937/
The Huffington Post Australia Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/p/huffpost-australia-faqs
SID: 460212494 1572
Word count: 1572
Tutor: Fiona Martin, Monday 5-8pm