Opinion flow.

Interactivity is an important issue with regards to online journalism. How much interaction is too much interaction?

In the seminar reading for Week 7 : ‘Interactivity: an open sewer through your newspaper website’, Frits van Exter, the former editor of the Dutch newspaper ‘Trouw’ gives a speech on reader participation and its effects on journalism. The speech raised a number of valid issues regarding interactivity. For example, what problems could arise through audience interaction? By leaving yourself open to comments you are leaving yourself open to criticism, and I just don’t know if a journalist’s ego could deal with that.

Another point, do newspapers have to become interactive to survive? And if they do, what tools do they have to cope with the change? In my opinion, newspapers need the technological transition to keep up with television and radio because of immediacy. The public want to be involved, and if you don’t let them be involved in your news organisation, they will surely go somewhere else to vent their opinions. The tools that organisations have are registration [Make people register for your website] and moderation [Keep an eye on what is being said]. These tools are in place to allow organisations to monitor the comments and interaction being made.

Technological advances mean that the media has never been so interactive. It provides more of an opportunity for citizen journalism, for comment and for opinion. Journalists now find themselves having to answer to the public about their work, whether the comments are good or bad. While this is fair enough, everyone is entitled to their opinion, what happens when there is such a volume of communicators? How do we have time to accept everyones point? How would your comment stand out in the sea of opinion?

This video was made by the Creative Commons, it’s worth a look.

Article: http://mcs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/short/22/2/205 [The article can be accessed in the DCU library page by doing an online database search of Media, Culture & Society. Vol. 22 No. 2. 205 – 221.]

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