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I know that I have spent some time and energy on this blog talking about how the internet has drastically changed the way that society accesses and interacts with the media and changed how media is managed and produced. But I am seriously reconsidering this. I was flipping through a book called Style: the Essential Guide for Journalists and Professional Writers, which was put out by News Limited. (For those of you outside of Australia – News Limited is the big scary Murdoch owned conglomerate that owns basically all of the Australian print media).
Anyway, as I was reading through this book, and more specifically, the chapter about the internet, I realised something about news production: it’s still very much the same.

Yes, a key difference between print and online news is deadlines and printing times – but even online news has a strict deadline to adhere to when they put out their daily newsletters. Another interesting thing that I realised, was that in printed newspapers, particularly with broadsheets – there is the emphasis on important stories being placed ‘above the fold’ of the newspaper. The interesting thing about this is that even for a news website, there is still an ‘above the fold’ line (when you can see a story/headline without having to scroll) that holds the place for important stories.

At the same time, the concept of a deadline has changed within the new generation and within the general media culture. Because so many online news sites are 24-hour, the concept of a deadline can be hard to define. Obviously there is deadline pressure in uploading important breaking stories as they happen, but traditional deadlines as print or broadcast media know them do not exist in the online medium.

I also feel that many of the things I have mentioned in previous posts relating to design and layout, show that online and print are still very similar in some ways, such as the way that images and headlines are very prominent features in both formats.

Do you think that there is a drastic difference between print and online, or do online aspects (such as commenting) simply enhance the news experience as a whole?


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