Convenience Prevails Over Homemade: How Local and Regional Newspapers (Mis)use Online Videos

Convenience Prevails Over Homemade: How Local and Regional Newspapers (Mis)use Online Videos

Marcel Machill (University of Leipzig, Germany), Johannes Gerstner (University of Leipzig, Germany) and Sven Class (University of Leipzig, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-147-4.ch021
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This contribution analyses the online video offer of local and regional daily newspapers. A sample of local and regional landscape press of 15 German newspaper1 websites offering online videos was investigated. The investigation was carried out with the method of a quantitative content analysis on the basis of an artificial week. The findings show that daily newspapers mainly place purchased videos of external providers (92 percent) in the local and regional area and hardly produced any material by themselves. The videos are themed accordingly: Only 16.2 percent of the videos deal with regional or local topics, and the lion’s share is taken by international topics (44.7 percent), while topics related to Germany in any way achieve about one third (31.5 percent). Almost half of the videos can be assorted to the “miscellaneous“ desk and, the reporting on political, economic, and social topics, as well as about sports and culture, is less comprehensive. It is also shown that videos are hardly used as a supplement of the remaining editorial offer of the Internet sites and that internal links to other pieces are hardly ever made. In conclusion, online videos are a fixed component of many local and regional news offers of daily newspapers on the Internet, today, but are however hardly used as an addition to the own local reporting competence.
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Online Videos: Definition Of Terms And Current State Of Research

Online videos, often also referred to as moving image or web videos, are video contents, which are distributed via the Internet and made accessible to the recipient in this way. In connection with the distribution of online videos, there are mainly three forms: online television as streaming offer of a website, video portals and video platforms. IPTV as a pure technical way of distribution will not be discussed here.

Online television is the form of online videos which comes closest to classic television. In this, online television includes streaming offers of individual television providers – i.e. the “reflection“ of the programme which can otherwise be received via common ways of transmission – as well as the offer of service providers offering streams of several stations. A stream is the linear non-recurrent transmission of content and thus differs from video on demand. According to Gerhards and Pagel (2009: 14), eleven of the 24 websites of television stations investigated by them offer live streams of their own content at least temporarily (e.g. n-tv4 or Phoenix5). A bundled offer of live streams of several stations is provided by service providers such as Zattoo6 or Livestation7. These offers in general are used occasionally by 18 percent of the online users in Germany according to the study of ARD/ZDF of 2009, while six percent of the online users use them at least once a week and thus regarded as on a regular basis (Eimeren/Frees 2009a: 341 et seqq.). Usually, the offers are free of charge for the user (Siegert 2007: 55 et seqq.).

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