Technology Issues: Development and testing of a state of the art, full featured
content management system in partnership with the Media Development Loan
Fund s (MDLF) Center for @dvanced Media Prague (C@MP). After months of
preparatory work, TOL began publishing using the new system in October 2000.
MDLF will distribute the new software free of charge to new media outlets
throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the developing world.
According to the Managing Editor of TOL, it is almost impossible to compare the
content production processes between traditional and web based media. She argues
that the fact that on a web based medium you can go back to the story once
published and do changes is a curse and a blessing. A blessing because it allows you
to do corrections to mistakes that sometimes are unavoidable but also a curse
because compared to the traditional media it encourages much more sloppiness
during the content production. Furthermore, web based media have more flexibility
in terms of space and less layout concerns .
There are other challenges though that new technologies present for the production
process. The journalist in a web based news organization like TOL has special
additional responsibilities and opportunities. He exercises much more editorial
control over the stuff s/he writes than in the traditional media. "In our organization
he places the story in the section s/he thinks more appropriate for example"
TOL also believes that the content of the news start up needs to constantly be
diversified. "Sometimes due to the nature of the medium we tend to become
newsier, with shorter stories than you will print in a newspaper or a magazine. On
the other hand, for other stories we can also become even more analytical than a print
medium or other traditional media since we have the luxury of space. We have almost
unlimited space." That is useful when your audience includes average newsreaders but
also academics and other researchers. TOL also produces different versions of the
same articles for different platforms. "We have been asked from CNN.com to do
cultural translation for their readers, for example," said the editor of TOL.
During interviews TOL staff said that they do not prioritize their articles in their front
webpage according to the hits on them. "This is very good marketing perhaps but
this will eventually lead to the tabloitization of our news organization. We could
become the web version of a Sun type of newspaper in order to sell what people
want. But then where is the editorial judgment." Instead they exercise journalistic
judgment and decide what is important. Then they to attempt to make what is
important, also interesting for their audience to read.
4.4. Content consumption processes
TOL readers representation by age:
65 or over