And perhaps the most important feature: individual
EXPERIENCE, emotional and intellectual, that is created by keeping
the tools mentioned above in mind and in use.
The experience could be explained by comparing going to the movies
or watching television. The amount of concentration is much higher
in the movies, it is a lot more intimate experience than watching
the television. Experience--much similar to the one at the movies--can
also be obtained with the Web (although there are no THX or Dolby
surround systems, yet).
There are hundreds of millions of Web pages and hundreds of different
news sites on the Web. Readers have to click to your Web site, but
why do you think they will? Is your site different from the others
or better, do people remember it? This is why it is important to
leave a mark in the reader's brain that "this site was cool,
I want to come back again." It is important to differ from
the competition. It is allso important that readers remain on your
pages and your stories without clicking immediately away.
What do people seek from the Internet? Facts and news of course,
but I still think that entertainment, games, chats etc. are more
important for most of in more visual, interactive and entertaining
At Helsingen Sanomat (the biggest daily newspaper in Scandinavia)
these kinds of thoughts led to dropping off the text based articles.
IF the article were published in the paper it would have hundred
times more readers than if it was published only in the Net. In
adition there are 300 journalists at HS already writing about every
subject possible. So our Web page was full of text (morning paper,
online news). It certainly needed something different, "something
alive," so we decided to concentrate in multimedia. We published
a month for almost four years.
In the end of 2001 our multimedia production was cut off for economic
reasons. Perhaps the innovative journalism in the Web is possible
only if the Internet proves to be profitable...perhaps...someday...
Tuomo Valiaho is a journalist at Helsingen Sanomat, Helsinki, Finland.
He is the producer of two European Online Journalism Award winning
webortages, including Case: Kautonen. These comments were prepared
for the "Painting the News"
conference and workshop co-sponsored by NewsLab and the Institute
for New Media Studies at the University of Minnesota, February 15-16,