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Multimedia and interactive components in converged media


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Multimedia and interactive components in converged media
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Welch, Amanda L
University of South Florida
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Tampa, Fla.
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user control
media ownership
content analysis
Dissertations, Academic -- Mass Communications -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
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ABSTRACT: A content analysis of news Web sites reveals how many multimedia and interactive components both converged and non-converged media organizations include on their Web presence. The sample included four news Web sites considered to be highly converged with their print and broadcast counterparts (,,, and, one newspaper Web site not affiliated with a broadcast media organization (, and one broadcast news Web site not affiliated with a print news organization ( A multimedia and interactivity score was given to each Web site based on the quantity of these components each site used. Both (a non-converged organization) and (a highly converged news organization) offered significantly more multimedia components than the other four organizations, but only provided a statistically significant number of interactivity components on its Web site. The results of this study revealed that among the four converged news organizations (,,, and, the only organization demonstrating the characteristics of a converged news organization was
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2004.
Includes bibliographical references.
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by Amanda L. Welch.
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Multimedia and Interactive Components in Converged Media by Amanda L. Welch A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts School of Mass Communications College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Kenneth C. Killebrew Jr., Ph.D. Larry Z. Leslie Ph.D. Randy E. Miller, Ph.D. Date of Approval: March 30, 2004 Keywords: convergence, news, in teractivity, user control, media ownership, content analysis Copyright 2004, Amanda L. Welch


i TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Tables iii Abstract iv Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Chapter 2: Literature Review 6 Uses and Gratifications 8 Influences on Media Content 14 Converged News Organizations 16 The Tampa Tribune WFLA, and 18 Chicago Tribune WGN, and 19 The Dallas Morning News WFAA, and 20 The Arizona Repubic KPNX-TV, and 21 Multimedia and Interactivity in Convergence 21 Multimedia 22 Interactivity 26 Chapter 3: Method 31 Chapter 4: Results 36 Chapter 5: Conclusion 46 References 56 Appendices 64


ii Appendix A: Converged News Partnerships in the U.S. 65 Appendix B: Selection of cross-owned newspaper-television organizations in the U.S. 74 Appendix C: Multimedia and Interactive Coding Categories 75


iii LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Story Means by Organization 37 Table 2 Interactive Components by Organization 38 Table 3 Mean Occurrences of Multimedia Components 39 Table 4 Comparison of Mul timedia Components Among Organizations 40 Table 5 Interactive Components by Web Site 42 Table 6 Mean Occurrences of Interactive Components 44 Table 7 Comparison of Inte ractivity Components Among Organizations 45


iv MULTIMEDIA AND INTERACTIVE COMPONENTS IN CONVERGED MEDIA Amanda L. Welch ABSTRACT A content analysis of news Web sites reveals how many multimedia and interactive components both converged and nonconverged media organizations incl ude on their Web presence. The sample included four news Web sites considered to be highly converged with their print and broadcast counterparts (,,, and, one newspaper Web site not affiliated wi th a broadcast media organization (, and one broadc ast news Web site not affiliated with a print news organization ( A multimedia and interactivity score was given to each Web site based on the quantity of these components each site used. Both (a non-converged organization) and chicagotribune.c om (a highly converged news organization) offered significantly more multimedia components than the other four organizations, but on ly provided a statistically significant number of interactivity components on its Web site. The results of this study reve aled that among the four converged


v news organizations (,,, and, the only organization demonstrating the characteristics of a converged news organization was


1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION New media technology has brought about an observable change in the way news organizations disseminate information. The most obvious example of such change is th e integration of the Internet with more traditional media, such as pr int and broadcast. In fact, “media giants, once competitors, are working together, promoting each other, and very often sharing resources" in a movement referred to as convergence (Flanagan, 2003, p. 1). While research suggests that new media technologies will not replace existing media (Bromley and Bowles, 1995), the uses and gratifications theory of mass comm unication posits that people will strategically use the media that m eets their specific needs (Kim and Weaver, 2002; Stafford and Staffo rd, 2001). The Internet embodies the media richness of broadcast and th e control and detail of print. As a result, the Internet meets the needs of both audiences while satisfying other needs, such as th e need for interactivity or more information. The Internet is likel y to attract more news consumers than print and broadcast media wh en online news providers utilize these interactive and multimedia components. These elements take several form s in news Web sites. Schultz (1999) identified several intera ctive components that news


2 organizations incorporate onto their Web sites: e-mail links to editors and reporters, live chats, online po lls and surveys, and online forums. He also described additional inte ractive options that some news organizations have used, such as inte ractive quizzes, digital postcards, and virtual tours. Media richness is enhanced through use of video, audio, and animation (Coyle and Thorson, 2001). With these unique features, the Internet as a news plat form has the potential to flourish if converged news organizations share their resources and incorporate these components in their online presence. News organizations differ in how they incorporate these components on their Web sites, and many still view the Web as simply an extension of traditional print ne ws (Neuberger, Tonnemacher, Biebl, and Duck, 1998). For this reason, ma ny are not taking advantage of the benefits the Web offers, and th ey will likely lose consumers as a result. Converged news organizati ons attempt to move beyond the standard Internet placeholder by sharing their print and broadcast resources (Killebrew, in press). As the rules established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding media ow nership become more lenient, the possibility for cross-ownershi p of multiple media platforms becomes more and more feasible. In 1975, the FCC banned media companies from owning both a daily newspaper and full-service


3 broadcast station when the broadcast station’s service area overlapped the newspaper’s distribution area (Federal Communications Commission, n.d.). However, the FCC revised these limits in June of 2003, allowing cross-ownership of tele vision and print in markets with between four and eight television stations. In markets with fewer than four television stations, cross-ownership was banned. With this new ruling, several media giants, including Media General, Gannett, and the Tribune Company, have expanded their media empire through the purchase of broadcast and print media outlets around the country—not just in one market. For instance, Gannett Company's purchase of Central Newspapers Inc. in Phoenix brought about the converged media operation of The Arizona Republic and KPNX television (Fitzgerald and Moses, 2003). With multiple news organizations under the control of on e owner, it only makes sense to streamline operations so that reso urces can be shared—not only in news distribution but also in advertising. Several news organizations have emerged as convergence leaders in recent years, taking great strides to build a strong relationship between media platfo rms. In Tampa, Media General invested $40 million dollars to create a state-of-the-art news center where The Tampa Tribune WFLA, and can pool their resources to provide the most comprehensive stories (Colon, 2000).


4 As of 2002, media conglomerate Belo had acquired four daily newspapers, 19 local television stations, and 34 Web sites in three regional areas of the United States —Texas, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest. "It's a strategy the company hopes will lead to strong news-gathering operations, increa sed revenues and market share, as well as more cost-efficiencies" ( Murphy, 2002, para. 19). However, many news organizations resist th e move to a converged marketplace. Such a practice requires cooperat ion from newsroom staff who are often hesitant to change (Flanagan, 2003). Yet with true convergence, ne ws organizations will benefit tremendously from a more dyna mic Web site where consumers seeking multimedia and interactive components can have their needs met. With these platforms at thei r disposal, news organizations can integrate streaming audio and video to the static but detailed written word. This study examines several Web sites in converged news centers to determine the extent to which converged and nonconverged news organizations incl ude interactive and multimedia components on their Web sites. Th rough content analyses of several Web sites, this study will examine whether converged news organizations do indeed utilize thei r shared resources to make their Internet presence more interactive and media rich than the Web sites


5 of non-converged news organizations. The results of this inquiry show news organizations and leaders how these elements are being used by innovators in the media industry. Such insight may provoke other news organizations to couple th eir resources and offer consumers information in a manner that meet s their needs and preferences.


6 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW "The new information and communication technologies have been discussed as both an opportuni ty and a risk from the point of view of the traditional establishe d media" (Neuberger, et al., 1998, para. 2). More and more people are using the World Wide Web as technology becomes more accessibl e, and news organizations are noticing this trend. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, more than 143 million people—53.9 percent of the population—were online in September 2001, and that fi gure is growing at a rate of 20 percent a year since 1998. In addi tion, more than 174 million people— 65.6 percent of the population—are computer users (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2002). With such a large audience and potential for growth, the Internet and the World Wide Web have joined the ranks of television and print as a mass medium. According to Morris (1996), communication researchers have only just begun to embrace the Internet as a mass medium, sparked by research uncover ed in the fields of education, management, information science, and library science. A thematic meta-analysis of the Internet uncovers similar findings (Kim and Weaver, 2002). From 1996 to 2000, the analysis logged only 561 articles in 86 communication and inte rnet-related journals as indexed


7 in Communication Abstracts This may seem reasonable except when compared with the total number of ar ticles featured during this time frame (8,922 total articles). Of the 561 internet-related articles, only 96 articles "tested a specific co mmunication theory or relied on communication theories for thei r primary arguments" (p. 529). Having proven this new medium is not simply a fad, researchers are now paying more attention to the effect the Internet has on established media like print and broadcast. Earlier research suggests that new technology will not likely af fect the use of these other media (Bromley and Bowles, 1995). However, a study conducted by Stempel, Hargrove, and Bernt (2000) found shrinking numbers in the consumption of broadcast and pr int news and an increase in consumption of online news. In addi tion, these researchers observed that most news consumers deliberately seek out either newspapers or the Internet to obtain additional, mo re specific information. Based on this observation, they concluded th at newspapers and the Web attract users who play an active role in acquiring information, which is consistent with research conducted by Althuas and Tewksbury (2000). Unlike print and broadcast, the Internet offers news organizations unlimited time an d space to provide additional information that other media cannot make available. However, the contents of such sites are genera lly re-purposed stories from these


8 traditional media. That is, news organizations simply cut and paste stories from the print versions onto the Web site. Nerone and Barnhurst (2001) indicate that the Internet began as a "simplified print medium," which offered a "new loca tion for reading and writing, a return from the immediacy of broadc asting to the calm of words in type" (p. 470). Barnhurst (2002) suggests that newspaper and magazine publishers "use their internet [ sic ] presence as a low-cost place holder that guards their US [ sic ] market position" (p. 477). It would appear, then, that news organizations are not making any attempts to satisfy the needs of their consumers. Rather, they are adhering to the paradigm that the In ternet is simply an extension of print media. Uses and Gratifications Studies in the uses and gratificat ions of new media technologies suggest that this could be detrim ental to online news organizations that want to attract not only Web surfers but also loyal news consumers. The uses and gratificat ions theory posits that people choose media strategically based on how well these media meet their specific needs (Katz, Blumler, and Gurevitch, 1974). For instance, if a news consumer wants visual and audi tory stimulation, he or she will not likely turn to print as a source of information but rather a medium that can provide the dynamic char acteristics required, such as


9 broadcast or Internet news. Their st udy resulted in the following uses and gratifications model: (1) the social and psychologica l origins of (2) needs, which generate (3) expectations of (4) the mass media or other sources, which lead to (5) differential patterns of media exposure (or engagement in othe r activities), resulting in (6) need gratifications and (7) othe r consequences, perhaps mostly unintended ones (p. 20). The uses and gratifications theory has proven useful in understanding what people do with media. Studies in this genre typically fall into one of two cate gories: 1) typological studies of gratifications sought and gratificatio ns obtained, or 2) investigations into relationships between gratific ations sought and gratifications obtained and exposure to a medi um or content choice (Rayburn, 1996). Studies in the first category we re prevalent early in the history of the theory; whereas, category tw o studies are more common today. Cutler and Danowski (1980) later developed another layer to the relationship between gratifications and the medium of choice. Their research suggested that motivati ons are generally either content related or process related. Conten t related motivations refer to the gratifications people feel by actu ally using the message, and process related motivations refer to the grat ifications achieved through the act


10 of using a medium. Stafford and St afford (2001) expanded upon this study, suggesting a third variable they identified as socialization— using the medium to communicate with other people. While earlier studies have primarily focused on the uses and gratifications of television view ers, more and more studies are incorporating this theory to bette r understand the Internet as a mass medium. Of the 96 theory-based, Inte rnet-related articles found by Kim and Weaver in their thematic meta-analysis of Internet-related research, most (21.9%, N = 21) of these articles used the uses and gratifications approach to develop their argument. Wanting to better understand the motives for consumer behaviors, Korgaonkar and Wolin (1999) examined both demographic variables and user motivations to better understand why consumers use the Web as a medium. Using both focus group interviewing and a quantitative questionnaire, the rese archers suggest that "motivations and concerns play a greater ro le than demographics alone in determining subjects' actions with respect to Web usage" (p. 66). Continuing with the association be tween Internet use and consumer behavior, Foucault and Scheufele (2002) focused their study on why university students used the Intern et for shopping to understand the "social factors that influence the purchasing behaviour [ sic ] of students" (p. 422). This study found a strong correlation between


11 consumers' needs and their behaviors, providing strong support for the uses and gratifications theory with regards to the Internet as a medium. Although many studies tend to focus on consumers use of Internet from a marketing or econom ic standpoint, recent studies have focused on the use the Internet as an information source. Parker and Plank (2000) conducted an explorator y study of college students' use of the Internet for news consumpt ion, replicating the methodology from a similar study conducted by Vincent and Basil (1997), which did not include the Internet as a news medium. Although their findings "underscore the growing importance of the Internet as a source of information," their results suggest th ere is no difference in why college students use the Internet and ot her media for news consumption. Recently, several studies have examined what specific gratifications the Internet and new media technology fulfill to understand why people use the Internet. LaRose, Mastro, and Eastin (2001) report several commonly iden tified gratifications, including activity, social interaction, novel se nsory, pleasing sensory, and selfreaction. Activity gratifications re ferred to behaviors used to ease boredom or provide fun or amusement. The social gratifications attract users who wish to interact or comm unication with others. According to LaRose, et al. the novel sensory grat ification satisfies users' need for


12 information; whereas, pleasing se nsory satisfies users' need for "interesting or enjoyable graphics or sound" (p. 399). The self-reactive gratifications were identified among media users who wanted to escape or relax. Their study found a significant correlation between these gratifications sought and use of the Internet. Katerattanakul (2002) identifies five common gratifications in a more recent study of the Internet : entertainment (i.e., relaxation, enjoyment, etc.); consumer informat ion-transaction (i.e., to obtain information about a future purchase or for making a decision); social communication (i.e., to interact an d meet others); information-seeking (i.e., to research topics of interest); and surveillance (i.e., to learn about current or forthcom ing events). This study later narrows this list down to just three—information se arch, transactions, and enjoyment— which recur in other studies of Inte rnet usage (Althaus and Tewksbury, 2000; Parker and Plank, 2000). The Internet is quite different fr om other media in its ability to fulfill several of these gratifications at once. For instance, news Web sites in converged organizations ha ve recently begun to incorporate news stories into games to better help consumers understand complex issues: On February 21, NBC's Dateline ran a piece about dangerous roads in America, zeroing in on three particularly treacherous


13 thoroughfares. The program invi ted viewers to log onto the MSNBC site to learn about roads in their community. Those who did so could enter their zip code and, within seconds, based on federal data, find out how many fatal accidents had occurred in that community between 1992 and 1995 and on which roads. Within twelve hours MSNBC lo gged 68,000 visitors to that feature (Pavlik, 1997, para. 6). Another example (Schultz, 2000) uses an exploratory questionnaire to survey readers abou t their motivations for using the New York Times online forum. Like previous results in uses and gratifications studies, respondent s suggest this platform fills the information, transaction, and enjoym ent needs. Direct quotes such as the one below illustrate how the inte ractive features of the Internet satisfy both the information and enjoyment needs: These Internet forums and email [ sic ] lists are very important to me…Good quality forums ought to encourage the [message] poster to cite solutions, preten ding the [message] poster is the politician or policy make r. I suppose that Internet forums can be considered relatively civilized outlets for ventings (p. 215). Although these studies agree on the gratifications the Internet satisfy, many other studies uncover different gratification needs (Ko, 2000). Although these n eeds may vary from st udy to study, news


14 organizations should understand th at news consumers use media for very different reasons. The needs of Internet news consumers differ from those of print or broadcast medi a, and it's those differences that draw people to this new mass medium. News organizations should appreciate the unique features of the Internet that attract these individuals to the World Wide Web for news consumption. Influences on Media Content In addition to understanding how the news consumer uses media, it is also imperative to understand the choices news producers make in creating media content. Shoemaker and Reese (1996) identify several factors that influence the br eadth and depth of news content. This research led to the developm ent of a hierarchical model of influences on media content, of whic h both personal and organizational factors play important roles. Rather than cater to the needs of the consumer, media workers create news that addresses the orga nization's expectations. "Studies of newsroom activity show that occupational and organizational considerations far outweigh any constraints imposed by audience needs and interests" (p. 116). In this way, news workers, or gatekeepers, present information that qualifies as one of the traditional news values of newswo rthiness (i.e., prominence, human interest, conflict, unusualness, ti meliness, and proximity)—developed


15 out of what early journalists belie ved appealed to news consumers. These values provide a strong indica tion of the kinds of news stories that media organizations publish, bu t they do not specifically account for the quality of information contained in their stories. The extent to which journalists de velop stories is based primarily on the routines of the media orga nization and journalists. Although limitations placed on journalists pl ay a small role in how in-depth stories become, "routines help explain how that content is shaped in response to those limits" (p. 118). These routines often allow journalists to cope with physical restraints, such as time or space restrictions. For example, if a story develops just before it is to be aired, it will likely offer few details. In addition, journalists often find themselves following specific routines in how they report on issues. For decades, news has followed the inverted pyramid format, with the most important facts delivered first and the minor details following. Often times, stories are developed based on the reporter's preconceiv ed notion of the story's events. These routines develop as a result of the journalist's experience, but "trying to fit news stories into familiar forms may blind reporters to other features of the story" (p. 122). As journalists and media organizations grow accustomed to these routines, it becomes more di fficult to change the way news


16 stories are delivered. As a result, stories seem to differ very little from one organization to the next, and more often than not, editors question reporters who veer too far from the news wires reports. This makes it very difficult for reporters to offer a new perspective or angle to a story. "The desire to be uniqu e is far outweighed by the risk of being different and, perhaps, wrong in full view of the nation" (p. 125). Converged News Organizations Many news organizations hope to prosper as a result of the integration of the Web with their exis ting platform. In fact, some have discovered the benefits of not only offering print and online news, but also delivering information thro ugh broadcast channels. These converged news organizations may be in a better position to offer consumers news packaged in su ch a way that it meets their information, transaction, and en joyment needs through the "coming together and blurring of lin es between various forms of communication" (Head, et al., 2001). According to Killebrew (in press), convergence is a two-part process involving the technologica l delivery of information and the utilization of this information through organizational partnerships. In the current practice of convergenc e, information is shared between print media (i.e., newspapers), broadcast media (i.e., television and radio), and the Internet (through the World Wide Web). These three


17 formats gather information and news using communal technical resources. In the case of the Tribune Company, several news organizations around the country have access to one single database system known as Oxygen, which st ores text, video, audio, and graphics (Lasica, 2002). Sharing te chnical resources better enables reporters and editors to distribute information equally between these formats through the collaboration of several news organizations (Killebrew, in press). Gentry (n.d.) identifies sixty ne ws organizations throughout the United States that offer a converge nce relationship with regard to news (Appendix A). These organizations team up to cover and develop news stories. From simply shar ing weather reports to central, integrated newsrooms, these organi zations vary in their stage of development in the convergence activities. Another researcher identified several news organizations in which print and broadcast platforms collaborate in a study of crossownership of newspapers and television stations (Pritchard, 2002). Commissioned by the Federal Commu nications Commission, this study sought to uncover the extent to which jointly owned newspapers and television stations in a community speak with a single voice about important political matters. Pritchard claims there exists only seventeen cross-owned newspaper-te levision collaborations in the


18 United States as of mid-2002. Of these organizations, Pritchard selected ten for closer ex amination (Appendix B). Many times these partnerships develop as a result of the acquisition of media properties Other times, converged news organizations maintain separate ow nerships and management. In both cases, several organizations pioneered the convergence movement; however, they vary in how to put convergence into practice. Whether they share ownership or just story ideas, they exemplify this new era of journalism. The Tampa Tribune WFLA, and In Tampa, Florida, Media General's The Tampa Tribune WFLA (News Channel 8), and emerged as prominent players in the convergence movement. Identified by Gentry as one of the most converged news organizations in the United States, The Tampa Tribune WFLA, and share a state-of-the-art facility and resources with each other on a voluntary basis: no single individual controls the flow of resources among all three platfo rms (Carr, 2002). Yet there are hundreds of examples of how all three platforms work together to accomplish a single goal. For instance after a small plane crashed into a Tampa building, the organization was able to provide comprehensive coverage by sharing resources:


19's Jim Collins witnessed the crash and reported live from the News Center almost immediately. Tribune business writer Dave Simanoff had record s on file about the building's tenants; he delivered this info rmation to WFLA-TV viewers live. The Tribune archive desk quickly traced the owner of the plane via the tail number and Tribune reporters and editors helped wrangle witness interviews for WFLA-TV (Carr, 2002, para. 11). Chicago Tribune WGN, and The Tribune Company, which owns print and broa dcast news organizations in many of the nation's largest markets, take s advantage of new technology as it becomes available. In November 2000, the Tribune Company integrated several content mana gement systems between eleven Tribune affiliates under the Oxygen sy stem, which allows staff to share stories, images, sound, and video online (Lasica, 2002b). Gentry suggests that this partnership coul d in fact be the most extensive endeavor of all sixty co nverged partnerships. Unlike The Tampa Tribune the Tribune Company collaboration does not offer a separate Web ve rsion. The print and broadcast platforms each have a site where news and information may be obtained, and links on these sites le ad to one of several online sites. Local and national news stories are generally linked to; sports informat ion and news are generally linked


20 to; and entert ainment information and news are linked to According to Killebrew (in press), such a merger does not follow the true conv ergence model. He refers to this kind of partnership as "partial convergence with newspaper bias." The Dallas Morning News WFAA, and Although the Belo Corporation owned both The Dallas Morning News and the ABC television affiliate WFAA, the two news organizations were fierce competitors for nearly fifteen years (Murphy, 2002). Now these two companies regularly collaborate to offer news consumers more comprehensive information while increasing productivity. Political news, state news and photos from the Dallas Morning News [ sic ] routinely appear on other Belo sites in Texas: WFAA, Texas Cable News, Austin's KVUE and the Denton RecordChronicle In the opposite direction, most of the weather-related features on come straight from the meteorologists at WFAA (Lasica, 2002a, para. 22). In addition, Belo Interactiv e has developed its own Web technology—VelocIT—to create a uniform Web interface between all Belo news organizations (Schult, 2002). VelocIT creates a standard template that can be easily cust omized with new content. Such technology eliminates "the need for a large online staff at every site" to operate and maintain Web sites ("From the outside in", para. 7).


21 The Arizona Republic KPNX-TV, and Gentry identified The Arizona Republic KPNX-TV, and triad as highly converged. Because Gannett owns all three news providers, sharing story ideas with editors from each platform has become routine (Finberg, 2003). Although th ey are more than a mile apart, The Arizona Republic newsroom and KPNX-TV studio exchange video, audio, and communication signals through a microwave link. In addition, a camera in the Republic newsroom, equipped with a teleprompter linked directly with KP NX, allows producers to make last minute changes to reports delivered by Republic staff. Reporters and editors who once fought to keep their stories under wraps until the newspaper hit the door step the next morning are now pushing the TV station and Web site to break their stories immediately. Reporters are writing ''bulletin'' versions of their stories for TV and online in an attempt to get them out faster, and Republic editors are partnering with their electronic counterparts to help the newspaper reach audiences who do not rely on the print media for their news and information (Callinan, 2001, para. 21). Multimedia and Interactivity in Convergence These news organizations "take advantage of the technology by providing print stories from the newspapers, streaming video and


22 audio stories from the broadcast te levision outlets and independently created original stories from the we b-based reporters on their dot-com staff" (Killebrew, 2003, p. 8). Travis Linn, interim dean of the journalism school at the University of Nevada at Reno, sees this integration as the direction that journalism is moving toward s with the convergence movement (South and Nicholson, 2002). Students entering the journalis m field these days need to understand how different media—written words, audio, video, graphics, photographs, interact ivity—work together to tell a story. The concept of integrating media, and using interactivity, is essential (p. 11). Multimedia "One of the most important dimensions that differentiates new media from traditio nal media is the level of realism provided" (Coyle and Thorson, 2001, p. 65). Video, audio, and animation are the tools necessary to create a media-rich environment that appeals to multiple senses (Schultz, 1999). These components make up the elements of "multime dia." Multimedia elements engage the senses in an effort to simulate "real life," thereby determining how rich an individual perceives a me dium to be (Steuer, 1992; Sundar, 2000).


23 This level of richness, or vivi dness, increases as senses are stimulated. The way in which the me dium presents information to the sensory systems—visual, auditory, hapt ic (touch), taste, and smell—is very often referred to as vividne ss and is measured by the breadth and depth of sensory information that a user engages (Bell, 2001). Breadth refers to the quantity of sensory information that a medium will stimulate; whereas, depth refers to the quality, or resolution, of that sensory information (Steuer, 1992). For instance, print media are relatively low in breadth because they only stimulate one of the five senses: sight. Television media, however, offer greater breadth of vividness because they stimulate two sensory systems: visual and auditory systems. Attempts have been made in the past to increase the breadth of vividness in films by incorporating the haptic and smell se nses in the mediated experience (Steuer, 1992). Rides at Universal Studios movie theme park in Orlando, Florida, often use seating devices that vibrate and emit strong odors during key times in the film. Yet such tools are not readily accessible and come at a gr eat expense to the organization. Computer mediated communication gene rally relies on only the visual and auditory senses. Beyond the breadth of multimedia sensory appeal, the depth of sensory information adds yet another dimension to the level of


24 vividness. According to Steuer, depth is best understood in terms of the quality of sensory stimulus. In an unmediated environment, sensory depth is at its greatest. However, in a mediated environment, such as on a Web site, images and sounds will not be as vivid as in real life. For instance, a video clip delivered on a Web site will vary in size and clarity based on the bandwidth of the user or the format the clip was recorded in. Sometimes imag es appear pixilated because they were not captured in a high reso lution format, which decreases the depth of vividness in that it appears less "real." Sometimes, though, forces beyo nd the control of the news organization affect the depth of vividness on a Web site. The transmission speed of the modem, or bandwidth, of the Internet Service Provider determines the do wnload speed, size, and quality of multimedia components like graphics, video, and sound clips (Pavlik, 1998). To meet the bandwidth demand s required to view video and sound on the Internet, news organizations must "stream" their multimedia. This technique involves "placing several frames of video [or sound] into a buffer on the client (user) computer's hard drive, and then beginning to play the video, as more files are placed into the buffer" (p. 46). The relationship between multimedia and audience perception has been explored in several studie s. One study examined the use of


25 graphics in televised news stories (Fox, et al., 2002) to learn more about how people mentally process graphics. Using participants' heart rate, researchers were able to meas ure the attention of participants when shown televised news stories fe aturing either animated graphics, redundant text graphics, or no graphi cs. The results of this experiment suggest that people pay more attent ion to animated graphics than to redundant graphics (images that reiter ated the main idea of the news story). In addition, researchers found that graphics aided participants in understanding difficult stories and recollection of news stories. Coyle and Thorson (2001) also examined the relationship between vividness and audience attitu des on Web sites. The results of their experiment uncovered a relationship between the level of vividness on Web sites and attitudes toward those sites. Web sites that featured audio and animation result ed in stronger attitudes from participants than sites without these elements. If news media organizations want to attract news consumers to their Web versions, it would behoove them to include multimedia components on their Web platforms. Because truly converged news media organizations share resource s equally between their print and broadcast counterparts, they will lik ely differ in how they incorporate multimedia components from non-converged news media organizations.


26 RQ1: How will the Web platform in converged news media organizations differ from the Web si tes of non-converged news media organizations in their use of multimedia components? Interactivity "Journalism, in many places, is turning into a twoway exchange of information in whic h people get to talk back instead of a one-way pipeline that was ou r traditional model of journalism," (Schaffer, 2001, "Interactivity," para. 4). Mass media are slowly moving away from the one-to-man y model, opting instead for the many-to-many model that incorporat es the feedback function (Li, 1998). Results from a poll conducte d by the Pew Center for Civic Journalism shows that 99 percent of ed itors surveyed believe that it is imperative to understand what the reader wants, which shapes what information and news is actually covered (Schaffer, 2001). By not including elements of interactivit y into their online stories, news organizations have little means to understand the needs of online consumers. Researchers have yet to agree on a single, all-encompassing definition of interactivity (Pavlik, 1996). One author believes that with interactivity, information must be exchanged "within a computer mediated system controlled by the user" (Fidler, 1997, p. 284). However, Bell (2001) focu ses on the user's role in his definition of interactivity, measured by the "degree to which a person can


27 manipulate the environment of a medium" (p. 51). Despite these differences, researchers do agree on one important facet of interactivity: it allows users the ability to provide feedback—an essential component of the modern communication model—to media organizations originating the message. Rafaeli (1988) identifies three le vels of interactivity: "two-way (noninteractive) communication, reactive (or quasi-interactive) communication, and fully interactiv e communication" (p. 119). He and Zhu (2002) also propose three models of interactivity—the transmission model, the intera ctive model, and the community model—in their qualitative analysis of interactivity of Chinese news Web sites. Using these models as guides, they uncovered a marked increase in the amount of interactiv ity, "allowing the online newspaper to interact with its readers, and readers with readers" (p. 135). Massey and Levy (1999) believe journalism becomes interactive when "content consumers are given opportunities to become content creators" (p. 141). Under this assumpti on, links appear to be the most obvious tool for interactivity. Li nks allow users to move between hypertext documents and files on the World Wide Web. However, Schultz (1999) argues in his study of interaction options on newspaper Web sites that interactivity involves more than simply clicking on a link. In order for communication to be interactive, it should progress


28 beyond reactive communication to incite additional, interrelated messages. Schultz identified several tools th at increase interactivity on Web sites, including e-mail, live chats, online polls and surveys, and online forums. E-mail allows users to send asynchronous text and graphic messages between journalists, or editors, and readers. Like e-mail, live chats allow users to communica te with newspaper staff through synchronous messages referred to as threads Sometimes, these chats are moderated by hosts who define topics and keep communication confined to specific issues. Schultz categorizes online polls and surveys as reactive communication but suggests that they could "still be used as a means to ignite and channel discussions" ("Interactive Online Journalism," para. 5, bullet 3). Schultz also adds that online polls and surveys are by no means representa tive because they do not follow the same rigor as a scientific su rvey or poll. Much like live chats, online forums allow users to post th reads to electronic bulletin board systems for asynchronous communicati on with other readers. Again, this interactivity component is larg ely reactive but has the capability for triggering interactive communication. In addition, Schultz (1999) descr ibes several other interactive options that some news organizations used to enhance the interactivity of a Web site, such as interactive quizzes, digital


29 postcards, and virtual tours. Interactive quizzes test readers' knowledge of facts and issues relati ng to stories. Sometimes these are supplanted within games as a means to convey information through an amusing interface. Postcards allow re aders to send entire news stories or snippets of information to enti ce the reader to read more. These and other components—unique to th e Internet—give news consumers the power to read what they want. One study investigating interactivity between journalists and readers used a qualitative questionnaire of journalists to understand how they evaluate and respond to readers' e-mails (Schultz, 2000). This study gathered a sample of 50 New York Times journalists who made their e-mail addresses pub lic: only nineteen journalists responded. Using an open-ended ques tionnaire, journalists were asked to write about their personal ex periences of e-mail communication with readers and participation in online forums. The results of this exploratory survey reveal that although e-mail from readers is primarily reactive, some journalists "appreciate online communication with readers" and actively respon d to e-mail inquiries (p. 214). The study also reveals that reader-toreader communication is increased through the use of forums, ther eby increasing the newspaper's interactivity.


30 Schultz (1999) suggests that those news organizations that "exploit the Internet's opportuniti es in terms of visual design (multimedia) seem also more lik ely to exploit the Internet's conversational potential" ("Interact ive Online Journalism," para. 9). As such, it seems likely that converged media will focus a great deal more attention on incorporating interact ive components on their Web site than non-converged news organiza tions do. Like multimedia, these elements instill a more positive a ttitude toward the medium (Ko, 2000), and with their combined resources, converged news organizations may be better able to include these components in their Web presence than non-converge d news media organizations. RQ2: How will the Web platform in converged news media organizations differ from the Web si tes of non-converged news media organizations in their use of interactive components?


31 CHAPTER 3: METHOD In order to recognize what interactive and multimedia components news Web sites use, this study examined the Web sites of news organizations who are considered by several sources to be highly converged (Pritchard, 2002; Gentry, n.d.). These news organizations include Belo Corporation's ( The Dallas Morning News and WFAA), Gannett's ( The Arizona Republic and KPNXTV), Tribune Company's ( Chicago Tribune and WGN), and Media General Inc.'s ( The Tampa Tribune and WFLA). All of these news organiza tions share print, broadcast, and online resources in varying degrees according to previous research. The sample also included two news Web sites from nonconverged media organizations. The Web site for the daily newspaper The Buffalo News ( was selected because it has a circulation of more than 230,000 (Bac on's Newspaper Directory, 2003) and was not identified as having a relationship with a broadcast media organization. A daily newspaper locate d in an urban city of New York, this organization was chosen to represent the northeast geographic area of the United States. From the Master Station Index of 634 broadcast media owners, the Web site for KFMB (IND) Channel 8 was selected for analysis


32 because it produces several newscast s each day and is ranked in the top 30 Designated Market Areas (DMA ). KFMB's parent organization, Midwest Television, Inc., does not own any additional television stations or newspapers (Broadcast Employment Services, n.d.). KFMB operates out of San Diego, Calif ornia, and is a CBS affiliate. This study conducted a content analysis of news-oriented Web sites for a period of seven days to explore what interactive and multimedia components each news organization employed on its Web site. Each Web site was accessed at approximately the same time every day. Examination of large Web sites took up to 2 hours, and smaller sites took about 1 hour to code. Some sites required registration to gain further access to the actual stories: for these sites, the researcher who did the coding pr e-registered prior to the start of the study. Web sites take users to the organization's home page, or the initial screen of the organization's Web site. Usually only limited information, such as a news headline or story abstract, is available on the home page. This represents the first tier of the Web page. Information is then hyperlinked to another page, where additional information can be found. Generally, interactive and multimedia components are hyperlinked from th e news story in the second tier; however, content on the home page was analyzed because it is


33 "instrumental in forming a user's impr ession of gratification potentials" (Chan-Olmsted and Park, 2000, p. 325). To fully ascertain the use of these elements, each site was analyzed two tiers beyond the organization's home page. Pop-up windows, which usually appear almost instantaneously with the loading of a Web page, were not coded since many Web browsers now block pop-up windows from appearing. Each Web site offered an index of topics for which stories and information can be categorized. Sinc e the focus of this study was on news, only those Web pages relating to news were coded. Such pages had headings like news local national business etc. Excluded in this study were pages that fell under such headings as opinion/editorial weather sports and entertainment Although these sections are considered valid sources of informat ion, this kind of information is generally considered to be entertainment rather than news (Shoemaker and Reese, 1996). Becaus e the focus of this study was on news content, these and simila r categories were excluded. When multimedia or interactiv e components were used on a news-related but were not related to the story, they were not coded. For instance, nearly every Web site offered a search tool; however, this search tool relates to the enti re site—not the story in question.


34 Only dynamic components used to e nhance a news story were used in this study. Because the goal of this study was to determine how converged news organizations directly use th ese dynamic components to enhance their stories, only stories that orig inated by the news organization's staff reporters were counted in this study. Stories that originated a news wire service (e.g., Associated Press, Reuters, Knight Ridder) were not counted, as they do not in dicate the news organizations' use of their own resources to advance a story. In some instances, the authors of some stories were unknown because an author was never identified. In these situations, th e story was coded as if it was originated by a staff writer. While story Web pages made up the units of analysis, the variables were the interactive and multimedia components found on these pages. The following items, as well as links to these components, were visually coded for a length of seven days in February 2004 (Appendix C): live chats wi th authors, editors, or other readers; online polls or surveys; online discussion forums; interactive quizzes or games; search tools; digi tal postcards that allow users to email stories to others; virtual tours; links to Web sites and other news stories that specifically relate to or advance the original story; streaming video and audio clips; ph otos; animated graphics, such as


35 flash or animated gifs; and static graphics, such as graphs or maps (Wrobel, 2002). Also, the researcher who did the coding counted other interactive and multimedia componen ts that were not listed above in the category "other" with a brief description of the component. Several studies have been unable to find a correlation between the kinds of interactive features and the perceived level of interactivity by the Web site user (Lin, 2002; McMillan, 2000). That is, one interactive component is genera lly not perceived to be more interactive than another interactive component. Therefore, interactive components were not coded in a rank order. These elements were simply counted. Because interactive components were counted rather than ranked, multimedia comp onents were also counted.


36 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS This study measured six organiza tions' use of interactive and multimedia components on their Inte rnet presence. Four of these news organizations are considered to be highly converged, having strong relationships among their print and broadcast partners. The other two media organizations—one print and one broadcast—do not collaborate with other media organizations. Table 1 shows the frequencies an d mean number of stories for each day for these six Web sites. During the seven-day period, the researcher coded 1,361 news stor ies by staff reporters from,,,,, and Most of these news stories came from (N=412), account ing for 30.27 percent of the total stories coded. Although this figure seems high in comparison with the other news organizations, one must take into consideration that the Chicago Tribune does not have an independent Web identity like the other three converged news organi zations., the only nonconverged broadcast organization, had the fewest total stories (N=101), accounting for 7.42 percen t of the total stories coded.


37 Table 1: Story Means by Organization News Organization Stories Per Day Mean Total Number of Stories (Percentage) 45.57 319 (23.44%) 30.57 214 (15.72%) 58.86 412 (30.27%) 19.29 135 (9.92%) 14.43 101 (7.42%) 25.71 180 (13.23%) Total 194.43 1361 (100%) Multimedia Research question 1 asked "How will the Web platform in converged news media organizations differ from the Web sites of non-converged news media organizations in its use of multimedia components?" The data in Table 2 reveal the quantity of multimedia components each news or ganization utilized in their stories for one week. As indicated in the ta ble, no news organization offered animated graphics to enhance its We b stories. The photo was the most frequently counted multimedia co mponent among these organizations during the study. Following the use of photos was the use of static graphics, of which all but one of th e six news organizations used at some point to enhance its news stories. Only used streaming audio (44) in their storie s, but every organization—with the exception of—used streaming video (82).


38 Several news organizations featur ed multimedia components not listed in the coding form, includin g fourteen slideshows and 26 photo galleries. The slideshows presented information about the stories using photographs and text in Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, and the photo galleries displayed a series of electronic photographs relating to the story. These items were includ ed in the total multimedia score, with each occurrence of a multim edia component counting as one point. For instance, had both a link to a photo gallery and a slideshow presentation on the same day, which gave the "Other multimedia" category a score of 2 for that specific story. Table 2: Interactive Components by Organization Streaming video Streaming audio Photos Animated graphics Static graphics Other multimedia Multimedia Score Frequency 34 0 55 0 0 16 105 15.77% 0 0 69 0 6 0 75 11.26% 22 44 167 0 80 24 337 50.60% 21 0 13 0 10 1 45 6.76% 4 0 62 0 25 0 91 13.66% 1 0 10 0 2 0 13 1.95% Total 82 44 376 0 123 41 666 100%


39 The quantity of stre aming video, streaming audio, photos, animated graphics, static graphics, and other multimedia components were summed to determine the news organization's multimedia score. had the highest multimedia score (337), distantly followed by with 105 multimedia components. Following these two news organizations were (91), (75), (45), and (13). The frequencies indicate the distribution of multimedia components utilized among the six news organizations during the study. As shown in Table 2, ch had the largest percentage, with more than three times the next closest news organization, (15.77%). Having the two smallest percentages are the converged me dia organizations (6.76%) and (1.95%). The mean multimedia scores we re then computed using the statistical analysis software SPSS (Table 3). The mean multimedia Table 3: Mean Occurrences of Multimedia Components News Organization n Multimedia Score Mean Multimedia Score 319 105 0.3292 214 75 0.3505 412 337 0.8180 135 45 0.3333 101 91 0.9010 180 13 0.0722


40 value reflected the multimedia score divided by the number of stories for each news organization. Kfmb.c om had the highest mean (0.9010), followed by (0. 8180). The media organization with the smallest mean was (0.0722). Table 4: Comparison of Multimedi a Components Among Organizations News Organization (I) News Organization (J) Mean Difference (I-J) Standard Error Tukey's HSD Significance -.0213 .1259 1.000 -.4888 .1063 .000(*) -.0042 .1463 1.000 -.5718 .1627 .006(*) .2569 .1328 .382 .0213 .1259 1.000 -.4675 .1201 .001(*) .0171 .1566 1.000 -.5505 .1720 .018(*) .2782 .1441 .384 .4888 .1063 .000(*) .4675 .1201 .001(*) .4846 .1413 .008(*) -.0830 .1582 .995 .7457 .1273 .000(*) .0042 .1463 1.000 -.0171 .1566 1.000 -.4846 .1413 .008(*) -.5677 .1875 .030(*) .2611 .1622 .592 .5718 .1627 .006(*) .5505 .1720 .018(*) .0830 .1582 .995 .56766 .1875 .030(*) .8288 .1772 .000(*) -.2569 .1328 .382 -.2782 .1441 .384 -.7457 .1273 .000(*) -.2611 .1622 .592 -.8288 .1772 .000(*) Based on observed means. The mean difference is significant at the 0.05 level.


41 To examine the relationship betw een the six news organizations and their use of multimedia compon ents, a GLM univariate analysis in SPSS was conducted using the Tukey' s honestly significant difference (HSD) post hoc test for multiple comparisons (Table 4). This test revealed that and had significantly different means than the other ne ws organizations, except when compared to each other. Because th ere was no significant difference in the means of,,, and, no inferences can be made about these organizations' use of multimedia components. With sign ificantly higher means than the other organizations, chicagot and had significantly more multimedia comp onents during the seven days of the study. However, the analysis revealed no significant difference between these two sites, so no assumption can made about the differences between them. Interactivity Research question 2 asked "How will the Web platform in converged news media organizations differ from the Web sites of non-converged news media organizations in their use of interactive components?" The data in Table 5 reveal that none of the six news organizations offered live ch ats or virtual tours to develop a story, and only used an in teractive quiz. Nearly every news


42 organization offered Web site users the ability to send articles via email or electronic postcards with the exception of An Interactivity Score was derive d by adding the total number of interactivity components together scored 1132; scored 525; scored 279; scored 215; m scored 199; and scored 156. Several news organizations featured interactive components not listed in the coding form, including seven feedback forms, one interactive map, and six tools that ranked companies by Table 5: Interactive Components by Web Site Live Chats Online Polls or Surveys Discussion Forums Interactive Quiz or Game Search Tool E-mail article tool or Digital Postcard Virtual Tour Related Web Links Other interactivity components Interactivity Score Frequency 0 0 0 0 1 319 0 205 0 525 20.95% 0 0 0 0 0 214 0 65 0 279 11.13% 0 15 1 0 18 412 0 673 13 1132 45.17% 0 6 2 0 1 133 0 72 1 215 8.58% 0 5 38 0 0 0 0 113 0 156 6.23% 0 0 0 1 0 175 0 23 0 199 7.94% Total 0 26 41 1 20 1253 0 1151 14 2506 100%


43 their stock index. The feedback form s allowed users to send comments to either the author or the editor by entering comments into fields and hitting the submit button. These it ems were included in the total interactivity score, with each occurre nce of an interactivity component counting as one point. The frequencies in Table 5 indicate the distribution of interactivity components utilized by the six news organizations during the study. had the largest percentage (45.17%), with more than twice the percen tage of the next closest site, (20.95%). followed with 11.13 percent of the number of interactivity components. (8.58%), (7.94%), and (6.23) all had fairly similar percentages. The data in Table 5 suggest that offers a great deal more interactive componen ts than the other news sites. To test this, the mean of each Web site was computed and compared between the six Web sites. Table 6 indicates the means of all six Web sites as derived from interactivity score divided by the total number of stories featured during the study. Chicagotribune led the group with a mean score of 2.7476, followed by: (1.6458), (1.5926), (1.5446), (1.3037), and (1.1056).


44 Table 6: Mean Occurrences of Interactive Components News Organization n Interactivity Score Mean 319 525 1.6458 214 279 1.3037 412 1132 2.7476 135 215 1.5926 101 156 1.5446 180 199 1.1056 A GLM univariate analysis was then used to compare the means between each Web site (Table 7). was the only organization that showed any sign ificant difference among the six Web sites. Because there was significant difference between,,,, and, no inferences can be made about thei r use of interactivity components. However, the data suggest that ch did indeed use significantly more interactivity components than the other news organizations.


45 Table 7: Comparison of Interactiv ity Components Among Organizations News Organization (I) News Organization (J) Mean Difference (I-J) Standard Error Tukey's HSD Sig. .3420 .2973 .86 -1.1018 .2509 .000(*) .0532 .3454 1.000 .1012 .3841 1.000 .5402 .3136 .517 -.3420 .2973 .86 -1.4438 .2835 .000(*) -.2889 .3698 .971 -.2408 .4061 .992 .1982 .3403 .992 1.1018 .2509 .000(*) 1.4438 .2835 .000(*) 1.1550 .3336 .007(*) 1.2030 .3735 .016(*) 1.6420 .3006 .000(*) -.0532 .3454 1.000 .2889 .3698 .971 -1.1550 .3336 .007(*) .0480 .4426 1.000 .4870 .3830 .801 -.1012 .3841 1.000 .2408 .4061 .992 -1.2030 .3735 .016(*) -.0480 .4426 1.000 .4390 .4183 .901 -.5402 .3136 .517 -.1982 .3403 .992 -1.6420 .3006 .000(*) -.4870 .3830 .801 -.4390 .4183 .901 Based on observed means. The mean difference is significant at the 0.05 level.


46 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION Very few studies have attempted to compare the differences between converged news organizati ons, which claim to be on the cutting-edge of journalism today, an d news organizations that many researchers believe still think of the Internet as supplemental. In fact, there exists almost no empirical re search that describes the quantity and quality of new media technologies that converged news organizations can and should employ. This information has been largely anecdotal—until now. This study examined four news organizations considered by several researchers to be "highly converged" and two non-converged news organizations to determine ju st how much these two types of media organizations differ in their use of new media technologies, or more specifically, multimedia and in teractivity components. The results revealed that only one of the six news organizations——had significan t interactivity scores, and only and ha d significant multimedia scores. Although this study revealed sign ificant findings about the use of interactivity and multimedia components for specific types of stories in converged and non-converged news organizations, the results are applicable only to the six media orga nizations analyzed in this study.


47 Moreover, it would be audacious to lay claim that all converged and non-converged news organizations follow similar patterns in their use of multimedia and interactivity co mponents. To make such a claim, one would need to assess the Web sites of many more news organizations to provide a represen tative picture of how other news organizations are using the Web. Ther efore, the findings of this study can and should only apply to the original, news-related stories on,,,,, and Despite the large number of news stories collected among these sites, the results of this study are al so limited because of the length of time data were collected. Other studies have analyzed Web sites for more than the seven days allotted in this study, while others have used longitudinal studies to account for differences throughout any given year (Dibean and Garrison, 1999 and Kweon, 2000). This methodological difference could pr ove a liability in its ability to replicate findings. The specific organizations selected for this study could also place validity limitations. For instance, although identified as a highly converged ne ws organization, does not have a separate Web presence (e.g., chic does not have a separate online news staff), as do the other converged organizations.


48 Furthermore, stories originating from news wire services were eliminated, yet some stories did no t identify whether the story came from the wire service or interna lly. did not identify the author for any story posted on its Web site, and as such, its stories (and accompanying interactivity and multimedia components) could have come directly from a wire serv ice. This would give an unfair advantage over the other sites. Future research would be well advised to include only news organizations with clear distinctions between their print, broadcast, and Web identity. As the convergence movement expands, so will the likelihood that more interactive and multimed ia components will grace the Web sites of converged and non-conver ged news organizations. Should researchers want to replicate this study, the complexity and frequency of these components will require more than simply one coder to collect data. Future studies would need to use multiple coders and check inter-coder reliability to eliminate disagreements between coders and avoid accidental omission of components. When comparing the use of inte ractive components among the six news organizations, chicagotrib had the highest frequency, with more than double the next highest frequency ( with 20.95%). An analysis of variance also revealed statistically significant


49 interactivity scores when compar ed to other converged news organizations, as well as non-converged news organization. used its exte nsive resources to incorporate more interactivity components much more frequently than both the converged and non-converged news organizations in this study. Overall, this site utilized more online polls and surveys, archive searching tools, related Web links and other interactive tools like feedback forms, interactive maps, and stock ranking tools, all the while providing more original staff reports and news stories. Although the variety of interactivity components varied with each story, all of's 425 news storie s allowed readers to send news stories to others electronically. This may lead some to suggest th at because of the high quantity of news stories featured on their site,'s dominance can be attributed to that. However, when an analysis of variance was conducted on the six means excluding this component, continued to have the highest statistically significant mean, with only th e non-converged broadcast news organization having no significant difference from Moreover, these findings sugges t that the three "converged" news organizations that are su pposedly leading the way in the


50 convergence movement neglect to in clude the necessary tools for true convergence. The mean interactiv ity scores of,, and could not significantly differentiate themselves from the smaller news organizations that have no established relationships with other news organizations. This reveals strong support for the a ssumption that these ne ws organizations favor their more established platforms over the Web, fitting into Killebrew's (in press) definition of "partial convergence." In the examination of multimedia components, the results of this study produced even more unexp ected results., a nonconverged broadcast news organiza tion, had the highest mean score, followed closely by chicagotribune.c om, which had a greater frequency than all the other organizations comb ined. This inconsistency is likely due to's having the highest number of original stories ( N =412), as opposed to 's having the lowest number of original stories ( N =101). When an analysis of variance was conducted for the six means, only and chicagotribune.c om showed significant findings. These sites had a statistically si gnificant number of multimedia components, suggesting that azcent,,, and did not provide sufficient quantities of multimedia components. It comes as no surprise that


51 scored low on the interactivity total. However,,, and claim to share their resources mutually with their broadcast counterparts, but their low mu ltimedia scores suggest otherwise. Some may argue that photos do not qualify as multimedia (Dibean and Garrison, 1999), and sh ould not be included in the analysis of variance. To satisfy su ch an argument, an analysis of variance was conducted on the mean scores excluding photographs. In this analysis, joins and as having statistically significant levels of multimedia components. Even without photographs, th e other two converged news organizations still lack the necessary multimedia features present at Although it did not provide enou gh multimedia features to a statistical level of significance, did secure the third highest frequency (15.77%) of mu ltimedia components. What may have kept this site from showing sign ificant findings could relate to the types of news stories produced by the organization. During the study, often used nearly iden tical stories in different areas of the site. This is often the case with newspapers, which tend to cater news stories to the specific market being served (i.e., readers residing in a suburb might receive the same paper as those residing in a


52 metropolitan area, except local st ories would focus on the location where the paper is distributed). This practice may have also been used as a quick way to add seemingly new or revised content on a continual basis. In either case, because these stories varied to some degree—no matter how slight the variation—all were included in the analysis. Had their number of stories been less, may have shown significant findings, alth ough such an assertion could only be revealed through a re-evaluation of the data. For the purposes of this study, though, the only organizations to show any significant findings in multimedia are and, but an analysis of variance could not establish any significant difference between the two. Therefore, one must conclude that the differences be tween these two means could have been due to chance. This supposi tion implies that the converged does not offe r significantly more multimedia components than the non-converge d (and much smaller) Although it does stand apart from the other converged news organizations, do es not distinguish itself from the non-converged in this stud y. One could conclude two things from this observation: either chic does not provide enough multimedia features to set itself apart from less resourceful news operations, or excels in providing dynamic, multimedia


53 items beyond the scope of what might be typical for a news organization (regardless of whet her or not it is converged). To test these conclusions, researchers would need to replicate this study using a much larger sample of independently-owned broadcast news stations around th e country. Such a study may prove difficult, though, as more and more organizations merge with other platforms in an effort to increase revenues and audience loyalty. ChanOlmsted and Park (2000) conducted their own analysis of how television stations used the Intern et and found that the stations in their study played it safe by prov iding more text-oriented information and "re-assembling and re-purposing their existing products for online delivery" (p. 336). The results from this study suggest that may be the exception in their incl usion of multimedia components. In any case, both and demonstrated a noticeable commitm ent to provide dynamic stories beyond the static text placeholde r. Both Web sites used photos frequently to provide visual appeal to news audiences, but offered news consumers more variety in the kinds of multimedia components with the use of streaming audio, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, and online photo albums. Overall, emerges as an innovative news source that realizes the potential of the Internet for providing dynamic


54 tools to understand and interpret in formation. As suggested by Massey and Levy (1999), a news organization would need to have a relatively large staff to be fully interactive. This could explain the strength of above the other or ganizations in the study, as it averaged almost one multimedia component per news story and almost three interactive components per story. As a result, it could become a prominent source for on line news for audiences wanting more than just text on a screen. Yet this study also suggests that smaller news organizations with fewer resources at their disposal are also taking advantage of the multimedia opportunities that the Inte rnet offers, as is the case with Although it is a televi sion news station, most of the multimedia components on its site did not take the form of streaming audio or video. Rather, a majority of its multimedia components took the form of digital photos and s lideshows.'s excellence in this study suggests that news organizations need not have vast resources to take advantage of the strengths of the World Wide Web. Future research of converged ne ws organizations could expand upon this study in many ways. As stated earlier, researchers could encompass If, as expected, the laws govern ing news organization ownership become more lenient, consumer s should expect to see more


55 convergence among media companies. At this early stage of convergence, few organizations have shown a true understanding of how convergence is practiced. Howe ver, as this trend in journalism increases, media companies will be gin to move beyond what is traditionally thought of as "safe" and offer the dynamic components available through the Web platform.


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64 Appendices


65 Appendix A: Converged News Partnerships in the U.S. Company Location ALABAMA WVUA-7, Tuscaloosa News Tuscaloosa, AL Partnership Description: Cross-promotion and shared cont ent. For example, Tuscaloosa News (part of the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group) features WVUA-7 weather content (and on-air personalities). WVUA-7 nightly news features "tomorrow in the Tuscaloosa News" stories. The station is an independent (no network affiliation), owned by the University of Alabama. Related Links: ARIZONA Arizona Republic, KPNX-TV (NBC), Phoenix, AZ Partnership Description: Very converged. Republic report ers regularly on KPNX. Regular sharing. Strong Republic leadership. CALIFORNIA Times, KTLA (WB) Los Angeles, CA Partnership Description: Headlines tonight, some entert ainment, busine ss content on air. Camera and KTLA reporter in Times ne wsroom. Cross-media ad sales on a project basis. Internet integrated with newsroom. Va rious stand-alone radio content relationships. Press-Enterprise, KVCR-TV and radio (PBS) Riverside, CA Los Angeles, CA Partnership Description: Reporters occasionally on radio. KNTV-NBC11, KSTS-Telemundo KTSFInd San Jose, CA San Mateo, CA Partnership Description: Camera in newsroom. Newspaper provides its own TV producer. Live Mercury News story reported on NBC11 11 p.m. news. Work some stories, polls together. Live/taped reports on Telemundo, including stories from newspaper's weekly Nuevo Mundo. KTSF presents Ca ntonese and Mandarin newscasts. Its reporter has desk in newsroom. Newspaper gets headlines on both news programs. COLORADO Post, KUSA-TV (NBC) Denver, CO Partnership Description: Very active. Share budgets. Share some stories. News reporters on KUSA, TV reporters write for Post. KUSA video on Denver Post Online.


Appendix A: (Continued) 66 CONNECTICUT Courant, WTXX-TV (WB), New England Cable News (not Tribune) Hartford, CT Partnership Description: Some news and features shared. Regular cut-ins for cable news. Camera in newsroom with late news headlines. One of more successful cross-media ad sales and promotion efforts. Video for Internet. FLORIDA Orlando Sentinel, Central Florida News 13, Clear Channel radio, WESH (NBC), WTMO (Telemundo), WVEN (Univision) Orlando, FL Partnership Description: 50-50 partners with Time Warn er for CFN13. Nation's first central multimedia desk. Targeted cross-media sales. Aggressive re partnerships. Internet integrated with newsroom. Extensive cro ss-promotion. WESH weather in paper. A progressive new media culture. Jackson County Floridan and Dothan Eagle, WMBB-TV (ABC-Panama City) Panama City, FL Partnership Description: TV bureau reporter in Floridan newsroom writes for paper. Content sharing on special reports. Creative ad vertising sales efforts targeting beach-goers. St. Petersburg Times, WTSP-TV (CBS) St. Petersburg, FL Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL Partnership Description: Cross promotion, occasional converged sharing. Herald, WTVJ (NBC) Miami, FL Partnership Description: Camera in newsroom, some news sharing. Florida Times-Union, WJXX-TV (ABC), WTLV-TV (NBC) Jacksonville, FL Partnership Description: Headlines tonight, cross promote news, building TV set in newspaper newsroom Sun Sentinel, Miami, WFOR-TV (CBS), W. Palm, WXEL-TV (NPR) Miami, FL Partnership Description: Headlines tonight, occasional pr ojects. Sun-Sentinel does news for WXEL. Camera in newsroom. Single ma nager over newspaper, TV and Internet.


Appendix A: (Continued) 67 Herald-Tribune, Six News Now (SNN) Sarasota, FL Partnership Description: Could well be the "most conver ged," thanks to committed leadership, one manager over all media, co mmon newsroom, paper's ownership of cable news operation. Tribune, WFLA-TV (NBC), TBO Tampa, FL Partnership Description: One of most converged. Help ed greatly by new, common facility and extremely committed leadership (locally and corp orate). Strong cross-selling success. Still not satisfied with progress. GEORGIA Opelika-Auburn News, WRBL-TV (CBSColumbus, GA) Columbus, GA Partnership Description: Working together on political coverage. TV teases tomorrow's headlines. Some advertising initiatives. Chronicle, all three local network stations, Chronicle, all three local network stations Augusta, GA Partnership Description: "News Headlines at 11 p.m." on WRDW-TV (CBS). Community outreach and advertising with all three stations. IOWA Quad City Times, KWQC (NBC) Quad Cities, IA Partnership Description: Talkbacks. TV reporters contribu ting stories to paper. Times provides local news “Afternoon Edition” at to drive web traffic. Gazette, Iowa City Gazette, KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA Iowa City, IA Partnership Description: Newspaper, TV collaboration on major news stories. Some cross selling. Jointly sponsor community events. ILLINOIS Tribune, WGN-TV (WB), WGN radio, Web. Also created cable partner CLTV. Chicago, IL Partnership Description: Sharing of content and video. Tribune has TV news stage in center of newsroom w/ multiple cameras. Cross-media ad sales fo r print, cable, TV, Internet. Possibly the most extensive initiative.


Appendix A: (Continued) 68 Sun-Times, WFLD-TV (Fox) Chicago, IL Partnership Description: Headlines tonight. Polling Daily Herald, WBBM radio, WMAQ-TV (NBC) Chicago, IL Partnership Description: Daily Herald provides news updates for WBBM. Headlines tonight on WMAQ. The Pantagraph, WEEK Television Bloomington, IL Peoria, IL Partnership Description: Shares news between both newsrooms. WEEK publishes headlines of stories in the next day's Pantag raph to promote the paper and extend their local story count. Also teamed up to promot e local community events, such as the Red Cross blood drive. IOWA Moline Dispatch, Rock Island Argus, WQAD-TV (ABC) Moline, IL Rock Island, IL Quad Cities, IA Partnership Description: Camera in newsroom, occasi onal "converged" pieces ILLINOIS Moline Dispatch, Rock Island Argus, WQAD-TV (ABC) Moline, IL Rock Island, IL Quad Cities, IA Partnership Description: Camera in newsroom, occasi onal "converged" pieces INDIANA Star, WTHR-TV (NBC) Indianapolis, IN Partnership Description: Star headlines on TV, some sharing of news projects. Star staffers on TV. Training for re porters who go on the air. WT HR reporter and photographer assigned to Star's North Bureau. Tribune, WSBT (CBS) South Bend, IN Partnership Description: Very early stages. KANSAS Capital-Journal, CJOnline, WIBW radio (Also has non-family TV partner.) Topeka, KS Partnership Description: Committed, aggressive C-J leadersh ip results in frequent crossplatform activities. CJOnline is one of U.S.'s top websites.


Appendix A: (Continued) 69 Capital-Journal, CJOnline, KSNT-TV (NBC) Topeka, KS Partnership Description: KSNT often interviews C-J report ers on the air; other content sharing. Many community projects. (See earl ier reference under family relationships.) Journal-World, Channel 6, World Online Lawrence, KS Kansas City, MO Partnership Description: Beautiful new common newsroom. Small cable news channel. Fully integrated with Web. Multimedia desk. Ad sales success. Dynamic new online leadership. MISSOURI Journal-World, Channel 6, World Online Lawrence, KS Kansas City, MO Partnership Description: Beautiful new common newsroom. Small cable news channel. Fully integrated with Web. Multimedia desk. Ad sales success. Dynamic new online leadership. KENTUCKY WKCT AM, WBGN AM, WBKO -TV, The Daily News Bowling Green, KY Partnership Description: Related Links: Bowlin Bow LOUISIANA Advocate, WBRZ-TV Baton Rouge, LA Partnership Description: In early stages. MASSACHUSETTS Globe, New England Cable News Boston, MA Partnership Description: Provides news content. MARYLAND The Baltimore Sun, WMAR-TV Baltimore, MD Partnership Description: camera in newsroom, content sharing between newsrooms; joint sales and marketing efforts. MICHIGAN Gazette, WMMT (CBS) Kalamazoo/ Grand Rapids, MI Partnership Description: Partnered on some stories, mo vie reviewer on air. Weather school. Partnership terminated.


Appendix A: (Continued) 70 NORTH CAROLINA Observer with both NBC6 and WBT(CBS) Charlotte, NC Partnership Description: Limited partnership, with sharin g of some news projects and standing features and web site links with NBC. Occasional ad and promotional projects with WBT, "Tomorrow's Headlines Tonight" and weather Q&A by TV staff. News & Observer, WRAL-TV (CBS), News 14 (cable) Raleigh, NC Partnership Description: Combined effort creates stormt, website for weather buffs. Nightly talkbacks. Some joint projects Govt. reporters do weekly cable talk show. NORTH DAKOTA Forum, WDAY-TV (ABC), WDAY radio, Fargo, ND Partnership Description: Lots of newspaper-radio cooper ation and some cross-selling efforts. NEW MEXICO Tribune, KRQE-TV (CBS) Albuquerque, NM Partnership Description: Websites are linked. Camera in newsroom. KRQE weather in paper. Some shared content. NEW YORK Newsday, WPIX (WB) Long Island, NY New York, NY Partnership Description: Headlines tonight, some features TV weather in paper. Some cross-media ad sales. Camera in newsroom. WP IX L.I. Bureau in Newsday office. Cable and radio partners. Star-Gazette, WETM Channel 18 Elmira, NY Partnership Description: Star-Gazette headlines appear on WETM's nightly and weekday morning news broadcasts. The Star-Gazette and WETM co-produce a weekly public-affairs show, Twin Tiers Weekly. WETM's health repo rter contributes a weekly print column and the station also provides local weather foreca sts for the Star-Gazette. The station produces a news segment in conjunction with the Star -Gazette's monthly "Our Towns" series. The partners also co-market other events. WOKR-TV, WXXI-TV Rochester, NY Partnership Description: Weather in the paper, headlines on TV, newspaper personnel on TV, joint projects


Appendix A: (Continued) 71 OHIO Daily News, WHIO-TV (CBS), web Dayton, OH Partnership Description: Occasionally work together on projects. Cross promote. Planning to install camera in Daily News newsroom. Brown Pub. Co. North Group, WDTN TV Troy, Piqua, Sidney, OH Dayton, OH Partnership Description: Share news, weather and sports information. Cross promote stories and exclusive data. Associate Editor Jo hn Secor reports on air once a week from a variety of newspaper newsrooms and community locations. Station identifies content shared by partner newspapers. OKLAHOMA The Oklahoman, KWTV NEWS 9, Citadel Radio Stations Oklahoma City, OK Partnership Description: NewsOK is a joint website se rving all three entities: The Oklahoman, NEWS9 and several Citadel Radio stations within our market, primarily, WKY Talk Radio. Related Links: PENNSYLVANIA Herald Standard, (HSTV) Herald Standard TV (leased access cable) Uniontown, PA Pittsburgh, PA Partnership Description: Local C-Span model. SOUTH CAROLINA Florence Morning News, WBTW-TV (CBS) Florence-Myrtle Beach, SC Partnership Description: Some joint special projects. Jointly sponsored a gubernatorial debate. Joint polling, coverage. Joint sales, marketing, promotion. TENNESSEE Chattanooga Times Free Press/ Fox61 Chattanooga, TN Partnership Description: Shared weather in paper, on web; web video; headlines The Tennessean/WTVF (CBS) Nashville, TN Partnership Description: Limited sharing of news video/headlines TEXAS American-Statesman (Cox) and KVUE (ABC/Belo) Austin, TX


Appendix A: (Continued) 72 Partnership Description: Low-key relationship with came ra in newsroom, some sharing of news, weather and cross-promotion. Morning News, WFAA-TV (ABC),, Also created cable partner TXCN-TV. Dallas, TX Partnership Description: DMN, WFAA newsrooms in constant contact. Regularly exchange information, share reporting. Regular joint projects. Belo TV stations in Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio also contribute. Star-Telegram, NBC5 (KXAS-TV / NBC/GE) Ft. Worth, TX Partnership Description: Limited relationship with sharin g of some news and promotion. Chronicle, KHOU-TV (CBS) Houston, TX Partnership Description: Talkbacks, small projects. Joint fundraiser for storm victims. Chronicle uses KHOU video on web. Early advertising efforts. Express, KENS-TV (CBS) San Antonio, TX Partnership Description: Early in process. UTAH Deseret News, KSL-TV (NBC) KSL radio, web Salt Lake City, UT Partnership Description: Deseret News reporters on KSL ra dio. KSL-TV and DN reporters occasionally work together on stories. VIRGINIA Lynchburg (Va) News & Advance, Danville Register & Bee, WSLS (NBC) Roanoke-Lynchburg VA Partnership Description: Regularly work together on breaking news and projects. Implementing converged reporter training plan. WSLS produces daily news update for local radio station. TENNESSEE Bristol (Va) Herald Courier, WJHL-TV (CBS-Johnson City, Tn) Bristol, VA Johnson City, TN Partnership Description: Some shared breaking news, tw ice monthly shared features. Strong cross promotion sponsoring co mmunity events. Some cross-selling.


Appendix A: (Continued) 73 VIRGINIA Bristol (Va) Herald Courier, WJHL-TV (CBS-Johnson City, Tn) Bristol, VA Johnson City, TN Partnership Description: Some shared breaking news, tw ice monthly shared features. Strong cross promotion sponsoring co mmunity events. Some cross-selling. Daily Press, WAVY-TV (NBC) Newport News, VA Partnership Description: Headlines tonight, some shared content. WFLS, WYSK, WWUZ, Adelphia Channel 3, The Free Lance-Star Fredericksburg, VA Spotsylvania, VA Partnership Description: Newspaper & radio stations post breaking news to's homepage throughout th e day. Web news team works with local TV news staff to share coverage of br eaking events and sharing video. Virginian-Pilot, WVEC-TV (ABC) Cox Communications cable, Pilot Online Norfolk, VA Partnership Description: Cable runs jointly prepared news features on "Pilot 13 News" and re-runs WVEC's news. Also, other newspaper content. WISCONSIN Journal, WTMJ-TV Milwaukee, WI Partnership Description: Headlines tonight and some sharing of content for web. Crosspromotion on larger projects. Note From Convergence Tracker Search Page by James Gentry. Copyright 2004 by The Media Center at the American Press In stitute. (Available on The Media Center Web site at http://www.americanpressinsti Adapted with permission.


74 Appendix B: Selection of cross-owned newspaper-television organizations in the U.S. Company Location ARIZONA Arizona Republic, KPNX (Gannett) Phoenix, AZ CALIFORNIA LA Times, KTLA (Tribune Company) Los Angeles, CA CONNECTICUT Courant, WTIC (Tribune Company) Hartford, CT FLORIDA Tampa Tribune, WFLA (Media General Inc.) Tampa, FL ILLINOIS Chicago Tribune, WGN (Tribune Company) Chicago, IL NORTH DAKOTA Forum, WDAY (Forum Communications) Fargo, ND NEW YORK NY Post, WNYW (News Corp. Ltd.) New York, NY Newsday, WPIX (Tribune Company) New York, NY TEXAS Morning News, WFAA (A.H. Belo Corp.) Dallas, TX WISCONSIN Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WTMJ (Journal Communications) Milwaukee, WI Note: From "Viewpoint diversity in crossowned newspapers and television stations: A study of news coverage of the 2000 pres idential campaign," by David Pritchard, 2002, Media Ownership Working Group, No. 21709. (Available on the Federal Communications Commissi on Web site at edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-226838A7.tx t.) Copyright 2002 by the Federal Communications Commission.


75 Appendix C: Multimedia and Interactive Coding Categories Multimedia components Streaming video: Video that loads from a Web page by placing several frames of vide o into a buffer on the computer's hard drive, and then beginning to play the sound, as more files are placed into the buffer (Dibean and Garrison, 1999; Pavlik, 1998) Streaming audio: Sound that loads from a Web page by placing several frames of sound into a buffer on the computer's hard drive, and then beginning to play the sound, as more files are placed into the buffer (Dibean and Garrison, 1999; Pavlik, 1998) Photo: Photographical representation of something (Kweon, 2000) Animated Graphic: Graphical representation of something that has the illusion of movement (Kweon, 2000) Static graphic: Fixed or statio nary graphical representation of something (Kweon, 2000)


Appendix C: (Continued) 76 Other Slideshow: Microsoft PowerPoint presentation Other Photo gallery: Electronic album of photographical representations Interactivity components Live chat: Area on a Web page that allows for real-time discussions by readers (Dibean and Garrison, 1999) Online poll or survey: Form on a Web page that allows the reader to submit an answer to a question and view the results (up to and including the user) on a linked page (Dibean and Garrison, 1999) Online discussion forum: An area on a Web page that allows the posting of continuous discussions by readers about any topic (Dibean and Garrison, 1999) Interactive quiz or game: An onlin e device that tests the users’ knowledge of facts and issues relating to stories using an interactive interface (Schultz, 1999) Search tool: Device on a Web page that allows users to enter keywords to find articles or other


Appendix C: (Continued) 77 information on the Web site, or any device designed to help the user find related information easier (Dibean and Garrison, 1999) Digital postcard: Tool that allows readers to send entire news stories or snippets of in formation to entice the reader to read more (Schultz, 1999) Virtual tour: Place on a Web site that guides readers through Web pages or stories in a specific order Related Web links: Internet hyper links or pullouts of information from other Web stories or sources (Dibean and Garrison, 1999) Other feedback form: Device that allows users to send comments to either the author or th e editor by entering comments into fields and hitting the submit button Other interactive map: Map that a llowed users to zoom in and out for more or less details Other interactive stock ranker: Sort ed organizations’ stock rankings based on criteria created by the user

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subfield code a E14-SFE0000288
b SE
1 100
Welch, Amanda L.
0 245
Multimedia and interactive components in converged media
h [electronic resource] /
by Amanda L. Welch.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2004.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 83 pages.
ABSTRACT: A content analysis of news Web sites reveals how many multimedia and interactive components both converged and non-converged media organizations include on their Web presence. The sample included four news Web sites considered to be highly converged with their print and broadcast counterparts (,,, and, one newspaper Web site not affiliated with a broadcast media organization (, and one broadcast news Web site not affiliated with a print news organization ( A multimedia and interactivity score was given to each Web site based on the quantity of these components each site used. Both (a non-converged organization) and (a highly converged news organization) offered significantly more multimedia components than the other four organizations, but only provided a statistically significant number of interactivity components on its Web site. The results of this study revealed that among the four converged news organizations (,,, and, the only organization demonstrating the characteristics of a converged news organization was
Adviser: Kenneth C. Killebrew Jr.
user control.
media ownership.
content analysis.
Dissertations, Academic
x Mass Communications
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856