Aggregators News Sources of Main Portals in Poland

Aggregators News Sources of Main Portals in Poland

Jan Kreft (Jagiellonian University, Poland) and Mariana Petrova (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1656-9.ch010


Aggregation of media content comes as a popular form of media market activity which is supposed to facilitate access to information in the conditions of its excessive amount. It can be defined as selection and hierarchization of information and determination of its value. Aggregation can be performed with the direct participation of editorial teams, or it can be performed automatically, with the use of algorithms. The research conducted in April 2014 – April 2015 was to indicate the sources of information published by the news portals dominating on the Polish market, namely: and WP. pl. The research referred to the main section Wiadomosci (News). During the research 1829 sources of information were identified in and 2272 sources of information in Considering, there were 549 pieces of the portal news and 1239 pieces of news obtained from different sources. presented 582 pieces of the portal news and 1690 pieces of news received from other sources. Thus, presented its original content more frequently. The scale of using external sources allows us to state that both portals are, first of all, the aggregators of medial contents, and they use external information sources, however the scale of the practice is differentiated. Generally, it is possible to state that only every third message placed in the most important section of both portals was created in their editorial offices.
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In new media space, users are confronted with the excessive contents, a phenomenon which is metaphorically referred to as information or content overload. Its manifestations are commonly known. Content overload refers to all the platforms, let us just mention social media – for example, popular tweets, no more than 1/3 of which is worth reading; at least it is possible to come to such a conclusion, based on the survey ordered by Harvard Business Review (Hudson, 2012).

The social consequences of information overload also come as the subject of the research. The problem may be defined as one of the most important issues of contemporary media, first of all considering problems with short-term memory, already recognised in neurological research and challenges that must be faced by users when its capacity reaches the limits, and the Anti Information Deficiency syndrome appears along with the information overload syndrome (Ericson, 2013), lack of concentration, increased perceptible stress, weakened intellectual efficiency and the fear of missing out.

Information overload is related to the paradox defined by Barry Schwarz, and it has been confirmed by the research carried out in 2008 in Northwestern University’s Media Management Center. It consists in the passiveness resulting from helplessness in the view of information overload. Hence, we are allowed to conclude that more choice does not contribute to more satisfaction (Vahlberg,, 2008). As Fred Hirsch (2005) concludes, it comes as an element of “the tyranny of small decisions.” Renata Salecl (2011) comes to a similar conclusion, writing about the perception of life as a composition constructed from decisions and choices. In media environment information is frequently multiplied.

In his “Data Smog” David Shenk (1997) discusses the problem of impoverishment through excessive information. He also discusses the development of new information technologies which allow us to access media and to confront a complicated process of acquiring valuable information and its interpretation. He writes about media environment where the ability to avoid useless information becomes a virtue, and meta-information, that is namely: knowledge how to match various kinds of information in the most efficient way, is the most precious kind of information itself.

In such conditions, the ability to manage information is of crucial significance. Information overload requires solutions which can be interpreted as optimal for individual needs. Aggregation of media content comes as such a solution, at least at a declarative level.

Aggregation of media content comes as a combination of conveying texts, photographs, videos or audio records in one form, in accordance with one basic rule: collection and systematization of media content, its hierarchization, the use of internal links, packaging, recording, rewriting and illustrating content in the Internet. An aggregator of media content, usually news, is a coordinator in the environment of media producers, which combines the contents with the simultaneous determination of their hierarchy, according to quickly changing criteria of importance, popularity and value of the information.

Evaluation of information has crucial significance for aggregation. Viewed from such a perspective, aggregation is divided into aggregation performed by editors (editors select the content) which is based on the activity of network users (e.g. Digg and Reddit) and automatic aggregation which uses algorithms (e.g. Google News). In the latter case, the automats use the context analysis, and they group information covering similar issues. In other cases, editors may, for example, complete automatically segregated information and add headings or their own editorial articles.

Facing excessive amounts of media content created by users and by media organisations, aggregation is considered as an unavoidable consequence which follows the development of media technologies, as well as a privilege for its beneficiaries, namely: the access to media content which is selected to suit their requirements.

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