BUKA Priscilla John
BELLO Aminatu Danladi
BADMUS Mardiyyah Eniola
ATINUKE Keku A
Since the invention of the internet and widespread of its services, there has been a continuous decline in the use of other media. This has made the internet around the world a major means of news and information dissemination. A trend of this nature has consequently had a baneful effect on conventional media, and paradoxically, a positive one on online journalism and e-news. This evolution in media practice is also unequivocally evident in the developing countries of Africa such as Nigeria where the onset of online journalism is gradually putting the demand of newspapers on the ware.
Qasim Akinreti (2003), describes online journalism as the media share of digital revolution, it combines this with core journalism skills of reporting, editing, and news production features and programmes.
However online journalism is the process of gathering, editing and reporting news or information which can be in the form of text, audio, video and some interactive forms, that are disseminated through online media platforms.
Mark Deuse (2003) has isolated three dominant features that are fundamental to the possibility and vitality of online journalism. The first feature he identifies is interactivity, which he defines as the ability for readers or audiences of online content to react to or interact with and even adapt news content presented to them. Another feature is multimediality, which is the technical capability for news content to be delivered in multiple platforms – text video, audio and animated graphics. The third feature that defines the exceptionality of online journalism is Hypertextuality, which Dueze describes as the ability of news sites to connect the story to other stories, archives, and resources and so forth through hyperlinks.
Evolution of the web
Web is the largest transformation information construct that its idea was developed by Tim Burners Lee in 1989. The World Wide Web is not synonymous with the internet but it is the most prominent part of the internet that can be defined as a Techno-social system that aids interaction of human based technological network i.e. a system that enhances human cognition, communication, and co-operation.
Web 1.0 is the first generation of web used in the 1970’s, according to Berners Lee it could be considered the Read Only Web with flat data and a system of cognition. Web 1.0 simply, is an information portal where users passively receive information without participation and giving the opportunity to post, content contribution review, and comments and send feedback.
Web 2.0 was defined by Dale Dougherty in 2004 as a Read and Write web. It allows assembling and management of large global crowds with common interest in social interaction. It consists of reading and writing, communities, peer to peer, XML, RSS, tags, sharing, trade sales, Google, web applications, broadband, bandwidth cost, conversations, word to mouth, web services and platforms.
Web 3.0 is the “executable” phase of World Wide Web with dynamic applications, interactive services and machine to machine interactions. Web 3.0 is also known as semantic web which was thought of by Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of World Wide Web. Web 3.0 computer can interpret information like humans and intelligently generate and distribute useful content tailored to the needs of users. One example of 3.0 is TIVO a digital video recorder, its recording programme can search the web and read what it finds to you, based on preferences.
What is Web 2.0?
The concept of “Web 2.0” began in late 2004, with a conference brainstorming session between O’Reilly and MediaLive International. Dale Dougherty, web pioneer and O’Reilly VP, noted that far from having “crashed”, the web was more important than ever, with exciting new applications and sites popping up with surprising regularity.
Web 2.0 is a term that describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and Web design that aim to enhance creativity, secure information sharing, increase collaboration, and improve the functionality of the web unlike Web 1.0 which was read only format. These have led to the development and evolution of Web-based communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites (i.e. Facebook, MySpace), video sharing sites (i.e. YouTube), wikis, blogs, and enable audience to become active participants and content creators i.e. they do not only find information online but they also create and share content (Thompson 2007)
According to Edison survey (2009) about 15 percent of podcast consumers are also content creators compared to five percent of those who are not podcast producers.
Web 2.0 focuses clearly on the user because it is the users that produce the content, from people who post information on Wikipedia, Facebook and other formats of compacted information. Meanwhile, facebooking, amazon, tagging, blogging and social media have paved way for the development of the web. Web 2.0 provides not just information but also allows contribution from other users in order to edit and report their information, web 2.0 is specifically a 3-way kind of information, including the social media platform because it allows generation of information, contributing (posting, component) and also chatting among users or members, this stands in contrast to mainstream media.
Web 2.0 has allowed the consolidation of a more active role to online users. This introduced the new idea that users are also producers of contents or information. The capabilities of web 2.0 have changed communication process into a more dynamic one which makes it somewhat difficult to differentiate information from opinions. In this vein, Guallar (2007) highlights the creation of an interaction space between media content and users as there already exist the concern for making the visitors something more than mere readers once they are invited to not only give their opinion but also to participate in the elaboration of the content.
Characteristics of web 2.0
Furthermore, the characteristics of Web 2.0 provide the ability for visitors to make changes to the content e.g. uploading videos and sharing opinions. It provides the ability to link with other users e.g. finding people and chatting with them. It also serve as an avenue to share content i.e. sharing of weblinks. Web 2.0 has the ability to send and receive information from other sources e.g. tweet email and notification.
Web 2.0 sites have higher rate of interaction and engagement among online individuals and also permit the site visitors to get in touch with the website in a lot of easier ways.
WEB 2.0 TECHNOLOGIES
Web 2.0 and its technologies have improved the immediacy of online journalism, it makes it easier for journalists to post contents and source for news online simultaneously. Hence the technologies of web 2.0 include; blog, podcast, social networks, E-portfolio and micro-blogs.
Blog or A Weblog is a personal journal or online journals maintained by individuals which are generally commentaries on a particular topic or issues on the Web. Weblogs cover many different topics, and express as many opinions as there are people writing them. Some blogs are highly influential and have enormous readership, while others are mainly intended for a close circle of family and friends.
A Weblog can be said to be a website that is updated frequently, most often displaying its material in journal-like chronological dated entries or posts. Blogs are mostly written by one person and are regarded as personal spaces of self-expression. One of the most revolutionary features of weblogs is that they allow users to publish comments right below each post. This transforms the blog into a debate arena in which the author initiates a conversation with an informative or an opinion text that the readers can comment on and follow up actively. Moreover, the conversation can be extended to other weblogs, as bloggers can comment on other weblog posts in their own blogs, and use a trackback tool to inform about their comments in the original post, with a link to their weblog. This way, blogs often form around them a community of users who contribute comments, and of other bloggers who interconnect their posts in an ongoing conversation (Stauffer, 2002).
In blogging, weblog posts are hypertext links to websites and online documents the author refers to in the text. One of the reasons for this practice is that many weblogs concentrate on commenting on interesting content or initiatives that the blogger has found while surfing the Net. However an online journalist can easily publish their ideas and articles on blogs and millions more can comment on them. A blog is a fluid, dynamic medium that allows more conversation than a library which allows people to read, write, and comment on the blogs. For instance, an online journalist who specializes on fashion can use weblog and conveniently post news, articles and trends on fashion that will interest subscribers, which encourages hits,its readers can comment and react to whatever was posted as long as they visit the blog and they are subscribed e.g naij.com, kuyetbamai.wordpress.com
PODCAST- Podcast is basically just an audio (or video) file. Podcasting is the process of distributing audio and video programming over the internet which differs from normal online audio and video posted on internet. However, what differentiates a podcast from other types of audio on the Internet is that a podcaster can solicit subscriptions from listeners so that when new podcasts are released, they are automatically delivered, or fed, to a subscriber’s computer or mobile device.
An online journalist uses audio and video to report news and give updates on events in which its subscribers can access the website with their phones, laptops and other devices once they are connected to the internet. For instance an online journalist can decide to create a programme (which can be a short video programme that is educational or entertaining ) using podcast to post on the internet.
Most podcasts are shared (syndicated) using the RSS format – Real Simple Syndication, the key difference is the distribution model.
Social networking Websites provide a virtual community for people interested in a particular subject or that just want to hang out together. Members create their own online profile page with biographical data, pictures, likes, dislikes and any other information they choose to post. Users can communicate with each other via text, voice, chat, instant message, video conference, and blogs, and the services typically provide a way for members to contact friends of other members, thus enabling everyone’s “network” to grow.
An online journalist with a social media account can easily, at his convenient time publish news, articles or other trending issues through his social networking account via facebook, YouTube etc, with this, its audiences are active participant as they are free to comment and react on the post. The use of facebooking to publish news product is common nowadays as online journalist can freely publish any event that is happening on the spot without necessarily going through the process of gatekeeping. For instance during the 2015 general election in Nigeria there were various posts which were in the form of text and video of update about the electoral process in various social networking sites like nairaland ,twitter, facebook youtube etc.
The most popular social networking Websites include: MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, LinkedIn.
E-portfolios- Electronic portfolios also referred to as ePortfolios or Webfolios. E-Portfolios are digital versions of traditional portfolios. An e-portfolio is an electronic format which involves personal information of individuals, records of their work, achievements, goals, profession, skills, etc. However, an online journalist can create e-portfolio account which consist of its detail or personal information achievements, goals, etc, which individuals can visit when he or she wants to know about the journalist.
MICRO-BLOGS- Micro-blogging refers to mobile social-networking or themed Instant Messaging encompassed technologies which enable users to write brief messages, usually limited to less than 200 characters, and publish them via Web browser-based services, email, or mobile phones. It’s the practice of posting small pieces of digital content which could be text, pictures, links and short videos on the internet.
However, an online journalist can use micro-blogging in day-day journalistic activities in various ways by posting topical content packages that will interest audiences. For instance at a plane crash that has just occurred, the journalist may not be able to gather detailed information, therefore the little he could lay hands on can be disseminated to their audience as tip of the breaking news with the use of picture or short videos with his mobile phone. The most popular micro-blogging service today is called Twitter. Other less popular micro-blogging sites include: Plurk,Tumblr,Jaiku,Pownce
Web is the platform through which nearly everything can be done including email, document writing and sharing, commercial transactions, phone communication and much more. The platform allows interactions once information is received or found.
Web2.0 is a catch phrase created after the dot-com crash to capture the dynamic capabilities and vision of the web when many had lost hope in its potential. New experiences come mainly from mash-ups; the mixing of applications and/ contents from different sources to create new services. The experience is significantly different though and journalists need to learn a lot more about it if only to figure out effective ways to use it to do the work they do. Companies and technologies harness “user generated content” and develop business opportunities. This changes the nature of knowledge, suggesting the potential to harness collective intelligence.
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