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A changing media and “Open Platform”

15 October 2009 No Comment

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Technology Thursday

When was the last time you bought a newspaper? I haven’t bought one for many months now, and I read all of my news on line. I hardly ever watch TV either, because now I can get my news at whatever time I want it.

For 30 years I have been a Times reader, and I have watched BBC news at 9pm (and then they moved it to 10pm). Now I read any source of news, and that has been an eye opener. The Times has missed a trick.  Their web site is too buggy! It took me just one link today to come up with this:

times

And I see it all the time. Last week, I think I encountered this message 8 times in a row by using links which failed to deliver. And they are not links to obscure pages, they are primary links to major features.

Sometimes I click on the cartoon on their home page. Nine times out of ten it takes me to a cartoon which is any old cartoon, but not today’s!

So I am shifting allegiance. And remarkably for a life long Times reader, I am following The Guardian. And that’s for two reasons:

  • The Guardian has repositioned itself to appeal to a wider audience, and some of it’s more colourful opinions have been moderated.
  • The Guardian has embraced modern technology and the internet.

Their website is clean and uncluttered, and the articles are informative. But, more than that, I am impressed by the way The Guardian shares information. In this new era of an all pervasive web, the people at The Guardian have been able to get the techies on board. By that, I mean any geek, anywhere. The Guardian shares things through their Open Platform. That means that the current generation of teens and twenty somethings (who never buy a newspaper in paper form) will be drawn towards The Guardian as the new model of best practice in serious news delivery.

And the BBC? Their news web site looks like some sort of teenager’s magazine. There’s not much news there. And it’s all so superficial and lacks depth. And they use inverted commas too much! I know that if I read something, like today’s report on Arctic to be “ice free in summer” it means that it won’t be “ice free”.  It may not be a mass of pack ice in 20 years time, but I don’t think that’s the same thing as an absence of ice altogether.

Today’s report in The Guardian on the same subject has no inverted commas and is more realistic, it say a few decades. That’s 50 to 100 years, not 20!

And at least the links on the BBC and The Guardian work, unlike The Times.

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Posted on 15 Oct 2009 by Proactive Paulwhiteline500x11

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