Divergent News Media in Computer Mediated News Communication

Divergent News Media in Computer Mediated News Communication

Michaël Opgenhaffen (Lessius University College, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch036
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Abstract

The focus of computer mediated communication research has been lying on the dialogical aspect of Internet communication while the presentation and consumption of online news have been understudied. In this chapter, we make a strong plead to not studying the Internet as one, homogeneous medium, but instead as a meta-medium that carries various divergent news media with specific formal and structural features. These features are important as they influence the information-processing that encompasses the computer mediated news consumption and are, as we suggest, essential when doing communication research. Both the results of a content analysis of the online coverage of the 2006 elections in Flanders, Belgium, and the literature overview of the black-box of information-processing of online news make strong appeal to computer mediated communication scholars to invest in studies towards the form and structure of online news media in order to better understand the total process of computer mediated news communication.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Convergent Multimedia: The integration of different media, applications and services into one format results in convergent (multi)media. It is the presentation of information through one multimedia format that consists of multiple media, formats or applications like the World Wide Web, mobile phones and videos.

Divergent Media: This is the opposite of convergent multimedia, as this type of media starts from an integrated, convergent format but is disintegrated into multiple media formats. It is the presentation of information through different media types like a news site, a news blog and news feeds.

Interactivity: The extent to which feedback and user-control over content is possible.

Hypertextuality: The extent to which (parts of) messages are linked with each other. On the Web, the linking is done by internal and external hyperlinks.

Divergent Media: This is the opposite of convergent multimedia, as this type of media starts from an integrated, convergent format but is disintegrated into multiple media formats. It is the presentation of information through different media types like a news site, a news blog and news feeds.

Computer Mediated News: While the study of computer mediated communication mostly focus on human communication, the study of computer mediated news explores the presentation, consumption and processing of online news or by extension, any news that is mediated by information and computer technologies.

Interactivity: The extent to which feedback and user-control over content is possible.

Information-Processing: The processing of the consumed information or news is the cognitive effort that one makes between the exposure and recollection the information. This information-processing includes subprocesses like encoding, storage or elaboration and retrieval.

Information-Processing: The processing of the consumed information or news is the cognitive effort that one makes between the exposure and recollection the information. This information-processing includes subprocesses like encoding, storage or elaboration and retrieval.

Hypertextuality: The extent to which (parts of) messages are linked with each other. On the Web, the linking is done by internal and external hyperlinks.

Cognitive Load: The burden on working memory during information-processing. It can be augmented by the individual’s characteristics, but also by the content or the form and structure of the message. For example, a complex integration of modalities can elicit a cognitive load on the working memory so that the information is less remembered.

Convergent Multimedia: The integration of different media, applications and services into one format results in convergent (multi)media. It is the presentation of information through one multimedia format that consists of multiple media, formats or applications like the World Wide Web, mobile phones and videos.

Computer Mediated News: While the study of computer mediated communication mostly focus on human communication, the study of computer mediated news explores the presentation, consumption and processing of online news or by extension, any news that is mediated by information and computer technologies.

Cognitive Load: The burden on working memory during information-processing. It can be augmented by the individual’s characteristics, but also by the content or the form and structure of the message. For example, a complex integration of modalities can elicit a cognitive load on the working memory so that the information is less remembered.

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