Before I let the students in my online reporting and editing classes touch any piece of technology or blurb their first blog post, I think it’s important to spend some time talking with them about the behaviors of the online news audience. The way people consume news and information online is fundamentally different than the way they consume it in other media, and it’s pointless to practice online journalism without understanding those habits.
This is not a lecture about how I wish the online news audience behaved. It is a lecture based on years of watching actual site usage at national news sites, watching focus groups, and reading industry surveys — primarily those done by Pew and collected in the annual State of the News Media reports.
This isn’t a lecture about how to change audience habits. It’s a lecture about riding a wave that is SO much bigger than journalism.
A version of the lecture is available here as an audio-only MP3 or in a Slidecast version that includes the visual presentation below.
If you have a question about the presentation — especially if you have an experience that contradicts any of the information I present here, please contact me.
If you are a blogger, publisher or editor and are interested in having me work with your site, also please contact me.
- More on the N.C. Online News Audience
- How to Plan an Online News Project
- At Small Paper, Breaking News Boosts Audience
- Online Class Discussions and Twittering Breaking News
- News Organizations Should Not Be Online