1. Watch a news story on a
local 5 p.m. newscast (tell me what day and what station). Compare the
broadcast version with the print version of the story that appears on the
station Web site. Is the Web version a transcription of the broadcast version?
In what ways are they alike and in what ways do they differ?
2. Look and and compare two local TV news Web sites. How is video presented and organized online? Is it separate or combined with text only versions? How were the stories organized? By story or event? By relative important? By relative timeliness? By some other criterion? Which station did the better presentation of their video? Why?
1. KSTP's 5 p.m. newscast featured a story about a new set of quarters that are to feature the 56 national parks. The 20-second piece that featured the reporter and a few graphics of the quarters, all that was announced was that the quarters were to come out, which five would be released first and how many would come out per year. I think this was a smart move on their part: although everyone will see the new quarters, it's probably only a captivating story for coin-collecting audiences (or park aficionados, as in my case). Online, KSTP chose to pull the story off of the wires from the Associated Press. The two stories are alike in that the broadcast information was all included in the longer text-only story. The AP's text story, however, goes into much more depth about how the success of the state quarters prompted the release of the parks quarters, as well as how the demand for quarters has been affected by the economy. Even if the norm for broadcast Web sites is abbreviated stories, I wonder if this model a quick alert in broadcast, with a more in-depth online story won't continue for limited-interest stories like this one. It's a serviceable way to report a story because the public can be made aware of the news item, and only those who want to know more about it have to learn the details.
2. At first glance, both KSTP and KARE's Web sites are quite different. KSTP seems disorganized and busy, with stories and pictures everywhere. It does, however, include a slideshow (almost looks like it was made in Sound Slides), which is useful in linking the viewer to videos corresponding to the slides. Overall, I prefer KARE's cleaner Web site because it has news categories across the top--more like the newspaper sites I'm accustomed to. It also has a more navigable list of top stories with video links.
KSTP presents their text stories alongside the video (which does not play automatically with the page load, thankfully) when the viewer clicks on a story. I like this format better than KARE's method, which requires that the viewer click on either the video link or the story link. Furthermore, when I clicked the "watch video" link, it took me to the story and NOT a video--there didn't seem to be video at all for many of the stories that purportedly had it. For this reason, KSTP clearly had a better video presentation. As organization is concerned, both KSTP and KARE have stories listed on their site by relative importance. I think this is a good way to do it. Since broadcast runs on a time budget, busy people watch TV newscasts to tell them the day's big stories. I think that when people what a more comprehensive picture and a more in-depth understanding of the day's news, they look to newspapers and newspapers' Web sites.