Stephen A. Masker

Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Martin Jones: Reaching Younger Audiences (Bang or Bust)

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2009 at 2:07 AM


When asked to review the effectiveness of Martin Jones’ website in its reliability to ‘reach’ younger audiences, I was unimpressed. After watching what, for a brief moment, was an interesting flash introduction to the site, I quickly lost interest in what the young woman in the video was talking about. Beyond my short attention span, I found myself asking ‘what is the purpose of this website?’, which highly contributed to my personal opinion of ‘why do I care?’

To me the website seemed misleading; it almost seemed like a site designed for teenagers or those of a younger audience nature to go and ‘catch up’ on all the news that perhaps related more specifically to them. This image contributed to that idea:

"This is not your parents news"

"This is not your parents news"

Instead, some girl actress is trying to talk about news and how 40+ yr. old adults are writing and reporting the news when we will ‘inherit the Earth’ in 20 something years as grungy graphic backgrounds, multi-colored ink-blots and text is displayed at a rate which doesn’t at all keep in-tempo to the faster paced background music & actually does more damage than good.

The second Jones’ website is as equal as the first. Again the same introduction video plays and no new information is presented except for some brief bold & white font below the video with Jones’ contact information. Hardly any new information is presented and after having seen the introduction to the site previous to this one I ended the video even sooner. Here is a still depicting some of the video attributes I was attempting to describe in the previous paragraph:

Screen shot 2009-09-24 at 1.59.03 AMAs I consider my 21-year-old self to be a ‘younger’ audience of the media, these websites fail to communicate significance me and I have no interest in having to ‘try’ to discover what they are or what this woman in the videos is talking about. I think that largely these video would fail to communicate to younger audiences for several reasons; the URL’s are longer and difficult to remember (over something such as or, the information presented on the sites is brief (if any at all), leaving the viewing wondering if it’s worth their time, and the content seems weak and unappealing, perhaps even uninteresting and boring. 20 years is a long way off. Until then, the university journalism graduates with experience and degrees will continue writing the news the way their audiences want it.


Blogging: Its Role and Effectiveness In News Websites

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2009 at 1:24 AM


The role of blogging on news websites is extremely valuable and is supported by many rationales, but perhaps the largest is a blogger’s potential to connect on a more personal basis with his or her audience.

Through blogging, the blogger (reporter/journalist/photographer) has more personal and immediate access to their reader/viewership, bringing them news, professional and personal viewpoints and media on a more timely and consistent basis.

“Company information or gossip and everyday retail experiences are fodder for the majority of bloggers,” says Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report.

Tracking blogs in 81 languages across 66 countries, the following diagram represents some of the report’s findings:

Screen shot 2009-09-16 at 11.11.52 PM

Additionally, successful bloggers have been shown to be relatively successful in generating revenue through advertisements. This is important for news websites because the blogs from which ads are imbedded now work in tandem with other revenue sources contributing to a comprehensive expansion in both viewership and earnings.

Cutting Out The Middleman…

The Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard website states that it’s important for blogging journalists to remove the middleman, the editors. Part of an article argues that the editor is the middleman, and because you the journalist are writing the blog there’s no guess as to what content your readers are looking for because they’re already there reading it.  More fluently stated, the site affirms:

“In generating story ideas, blogging journalists don’t need someone to tell them who the readers are and what they want: They already know, because the readers are on their blogs, telling them who they are and what they’re curious about. In this new blogging relationship, editors are the middlemen being cut out.”

Polling over 200 journalists from 30 countries, columnist Paul Bradshaw wanted to understand how blogging impacted the work of professional journalists. With over half reporting their relationship was enormously or completely transformed, Bradshaw was in shock.

Screen shot 2009-09-17 at 1.02.07 AM

Lastly, blogs on news websites are more highly regarded by the perspective readers. Because of the level of professional journalism, blogs containing breaking news or other vital media importance are highly esteemed for their ability to allocate factual and immediate relevance to anyone reading them.

Because of the reasons above in addition to extensive statistical research through several exampled sources, blogs may be argued as becoming increasingly crucial to news websites as their effective roles continue to influence larger percentages of internet users in the years ahead.

CBS 7 – West Texas News

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Picture 1

Unlike East Texas website KLTV 7, the West Texas CBS 7 website is far more unorganized.

  • Advertisements line both sides of the website and are distracting
  • News stories struggle with prominent visibility
  • Video files struggle to upload and do not seem well managed
  • Audio for video files is never consistent
  • ‘Still’ photographs come from a video

Picture 2(Very distracting Advertisements)