“A New Media Tells Different Stories” by Bruno Giussani

“A New Media Tells Different Stories” by Bruno Giussani April, 1997:

There are also many other ramifications that the new journalist will have to take into consideration while handling information and exploiting the different tools.

quote First, the behavior of online information seekers is very different than the traditional readers: some surf, some search. The first group is satisfied which just seeing what’s there – they seek pleasure and surprise. The second group is looking for specific information – their priorities are easy and rapid access, and accuracy.

Second, geography is no longer an issue. Because of the Internet global reach, geographical audiences and ethnic audiences can overlap (for instance, Swiss readers living in the United States access our magazine online) as well as thematic audiences (say, worldwide car racing fans hooking up to an Indianapolis newspaper).

Thirdly, the development of the many different types of intelligent agents will double the human public in all of its diversity by becoming an artificial public. We will have to think of a way to present our information so that it reaches both people and robots: software which behaves according to their owners’ desires.

Forth, we will have to handle many different types of information that previously were not taken into consideration and which do not necessarily respond to the traditional definition of news: weather forecasts, traffic updates, sport results, real estate markets, transcripts of school board meetings, unedited documents, etc.

Fifth, we will have to face new competitors coming from outside the field of publishing, using different approaches and different techniques. The first name that comes to mind is, of course, Microsoft, a software company which has recently rolled out a magazine (Slate), launched a TV/Web station (MSNBC), and started projects for local Web guides (Sidewalk). But there are thousands more doing the same, becoming news publishers all the while being car manufacturers or phone companies.

Finally, and it’s an essential point, we are going to witness an explosion in the media diversity. It would be incredibly naive to envision the future looking only at what we can see today – the computer as a plastic box with a screen and a keyboard. The digital revolution is giving birth to multiple new forms of devices bringing together the quality of television images, the communication power of telephones, the memory and speed of computers, the selection and ease of use of newspapers. They are spreading out in different shapes and forms and locations: cellular phones with e-mail capability, network computers, videotext, electronic paper, digital wallets, voice recognition, audiotex, pagers, beep-watches, and so on. The future will allow us to access worldwide information, in many different forms, adapted to needs and places