Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Thoughts on Lecture 3.

A special guest speaker lectured us on Monday; she covered the differences between print and digital journalism. She was very insightful and informative, offering many facts and pieces of trivia that gave me a new perspective on how journalism is currently forming around the juggernaut that is the internet. For instance, she spoke about the infancy of hypertext, which is text that has been tagged and hyper-linked in order to direct viewers to related content that they may find interesting. The exploitation of this potentially infinitesimal network has been very limited so far, and no media outlet or group has truly mastered it yet.

A piece of trivia that I also found intriguing is that people's eyes intuitively scroll webpages diagonally from the upper-left corner to the bottom right corner. This phenomena can be exploited, ensuring that website visitors are directed to the most important news - the ones that should grab people's attention once they are on the webpage. This reminds me of another piece of trivia; people when entering a supermarket intuitively look right, meaning that stock that the store owners want to sell should be placed to the the shopper's right. In the same light, the chocolate stand next to traditional checkouts is designed so that sweets for children are lower, to be at their eye level, while chocolate for adults is higher, to be at their eye level. I just find this kind useless knowledge interesting.

Back to print journalism, the standard model for newspapers has been for many decades, and has been refined to an art. In spite of this, the model doesn't translate to webpages. In my opinion, experimentation and research is the only key to designing a separate model that will become the template for all digital journalism. This is take a while, though.

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