With the rise of the Internet, the technological possibilities for journalists to create transparency in news reporting have increased, write Edda Humprecht and Frank Esser, both of University of Zürich. Online journalism is also able to increase understanding by providing background information, and add participation by providing a platform for interactive exchange. The study explores to what extent these strengths are exploited in news websites.
The researchers conducted a comparative content analysis of 48 news websites from six countries.
Results show that digital tools promoting transparency, background information, and participation are underrepresented and that the reasons for this are most likely commercial ones. The study argues that sufficient funding for journalism foster an online newsroom culture that is committed to higher news performance and a richer repertoire of digital practices.
Different structural developments and professional orientations lead to the adaption of different technologies in digital journalism, the authors conclude.
The article Mapping digital journalism: Comparing 48 news websites from six countries was published online before print by Journalism. Read the article here (abstract public).
Picture: numbers by DaveBleasdale, licence: CC BY 2.0