Exam Preparation Articles

Here are a couple of recent articles from independent online newspaper Crikey regarding the future of media. These would be useful to cite in the exam. The first article explores how media might look in 20 years time. The other article is about falling print circulation numbers. There are some good statistics to quote.

Remember, quote the source if you refer to this in your exam: you could write the following in response to a print vs online questions.  According to an article in Crikey (an online newspaper) print circulation figures across all major print newspaper mediums have declined for both Fairfax and News Ltd. This demonstrates the significant impact online media has had upon the print medium.

Future of media_ Gideon Haigh investigation into media in 20yrs _ Crikey

Newspaper circulation_ Fairfax and News Ltd results from Audit Bureau of Cir

Happy studying.


Media Watch Fairfax Redundancies

This segment from Media Watch examines the recent redundancies and Fairfax and New Ltd. The show provides an overview of the problems now facing journalists competing in a digital medium.


For further videos on this topic you can click on this link.

Media Ownership Changes

The following changes were made to media ownership in 2006 and 2007. Please read through the following links:

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2006/s1591679.htm (interview by Kerry O’Brien on the 7.30 report with Senator Helen Coonan – Communications Minister)
http://cpd.org.au/2006/03/media-ownership-in-australia-timeline-of-developments-1991-2006/ (History of decision making leading to changes)

Many of these changes were due to the governments concern over the rise of digital media and that the previous media ownership laws were no longer effective to cater for online growth.  The following report details government concerns:

http://st-eutychus.com/2006/cross-media-ownership-laws-for-dummies-2/ (a journalist’s thoughts on ownership laws)
http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/12/01/its-time-to-revisit-media-diversity-laws/ (another view of ownership laws by independent media company Crikey.)

Social Media

Read through the document on the How Barbie & Ken Were Reunited by Social Media campaign and answer the following questions. The full URL to watch the videos is here: http://mashable.com/2011/05/05/barbie-ken-social-media/

  • How was social media used in this campaign
  • How effective was this campaign reaching its target audience
  • Do you think it is a clever use of social media
  • How could online newspapers use social media to attract a bigger audience

Evaluate Online Newspaper

When you have completed your online newspaper you need to evaluate the process of creating a print compared to an online newspaper.  Consider the following:
How can an online newspaper attract a broader age group (from teenagers to seniors)
If you were hired by Fairfax newspapers to redesign the content what would you suggest?
Newspapers are also trying to develop platforms on all mobile devices. If you were hired as a mobile producer, what products/platforms would you concentrate upon?
What if newspapers offered a game a week? Would that attract a younger audience?
What about prizes, competitions, giveaways?
Compare The Age with the Daily Beast. What do you think is more appealing?

Write your answers up in your blog.

Read this article regarding the death of newsrooms Chris Hedges_ Gone With the Papers – Chris Hedges’ Columns – Truthdig.

Changing Face of Media

In the short Clickview documentary viewed in class the following changes in media were noted:
That the media has less opportunity to cover stories in depth as people are more attracted to celebrity and lifestyle issues.
Media ownership in Australia is currently concentrated on 70% private ownership.
The main sections of papers are now filled with Travel, Home Renovation and Eating Out
Journalism is an important means of keeping business and government accountable but only if it is free from their constraints.

Analysing newspapers

In class we watched a clickview video on writing for newspapers. The important points covered included:
The profound power to omit – what is left out of a newspaper is as important as what is included.
When a bigger story breaks than the ones you have already organised you have to push back the stories that you were originally running.
News Reports must be clear, concise, structured and argue pesuasively
A newspaper must be: ordered, apealing, accessable, visual and laid out with structure.
Journalism should be viewed as a public service.

Print vs Online Newspapers

There is a growing consensus amoungst media professionals that print journalism will be dead within 10 years. All content will be moved to online papers, blogs and magazines and journalists will be employed as freelancers. Certainly there is much greater access to online news and some of its key features are:

  • availability (download anytime anywhere)
  • accessability (download on any device whether portable or a desktop)
  • greater depth of news with links to blogs, facebook, twitter feeds, video etc….
  • broader news content including sections in online papers that you cannot get in print newspapers such as blogs, specific tv channels, podcasts
  • Interactivity
  • Comments section
  • Free content

The way content is displayed is another key difference to online and print papers. In an online paper there is more content on the home page of the site. These provide links to stories in greater depth which also often have video footage accompanying the stories.

Our task is to convert a print newspaper into an online newspaper and note the differences between the two.  Using Indesign we will mock up the following:

  • 8 column layout
  • navigation bar
  • Masthead with weather and interactive links
  • A main story image
  • 5 story links with images
  • 5 stories with headlines
  • images to the left hand side, one being an advertisement

Note the differences between the two layouts. How does print differ from online layouts. Upload the online newspaper you have created to your blog.