Easy as ABC

22 04 2009

I don’t know about you guys, but I love the ABC. They continue to provide some of the most comprehensive and culturally aware broadcasts on TV and radio, and they’re still so tuned in to their audience. The fact that they’re continuing to reasearch the way forward with digital content, and being innovators with their approach to digital streaming and broadcast, shows that their attentions are focused outward rather than inward.

Ominously, however, the ABC seem to be feeling that it may be necessary to start charging for content or make certain areas of their digital information password-only, and I agree with Knight when he implores the ABC to expand rather than contract its public offerings online. Otherwise the ABC’s ethos of being a publically owned channel is negated and their credibility is called into question.

Now, with the Federal Government’s plans to invest in higher speed internet for the country, the ABC are poised to take full advantage. Hopefully they can do so without detriment to their audience.

Alan Knight presents his view that we as consumers now have the ability to control, or at least skew the angles, of the media. Some citizen journalism is now becoming as valid, if not more so, than the journalism at major news corporations. This ties in with the third article about gatekeeping and gatewatching.

Gatewatching is evidently the way that the news world operates at the moment. Where I work, I write articles for various publications, and much of my research is performed online. Searches for various topics and news stories result in the same story being returned to me over and over again via different sources, or gatewatchers.

As Axel Bruns points out in his article, there are inherent problems involved with the gatewatching process. Due to the fact that it relies on existing stories, gatewatching, though lack of original content, merely passes on the information in its sources. Some sources will inevitably by inaccurate, misleading or biased, and this is the content that will be passed on via numerous portals. Wikipedia is one such portal, delivering content compiled by the general public. This is why you must never use Wiki for your assignments!!

The user is also aware of this fact, and therefore now has to go to greater lengths to verify the accuracy of the reports encountered. This effectively makes the audience a much more active participant in the news. Does it make them more knowledgeable on the topics they’re researching, having read more than one story, and separated the wheat from the chaff? Possibly, but it also requires more time and effort on their behalf.

In other news, our choco group has started on our website, and since our meeting at Koko Black last week, we’ve really begun to sink our teeth into the project (no pun intended). More to come!

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