Rich Content in Digital News Stories : An investigation of how rich content can enhance Digital news stories and widen the audience

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: The way digital news are being created today is very different from traditional printed methods. The digital news format has possibilities that printed versions do not have. For example, they can use animations, video, audio, and interactivity, referred to with a collective name as rich content in this study. The problem is that there is little knowledge about rich content, how it is being used and the reasons for using it. By interviewing journalists and content creators, this study aims to answer the following questions: How can rich content help convey a digital news story to the reader in a more engaging way than traditional methods? How can rich content help widen the audience of digital news stories? Through semi-structured interviews, the author explored how rich content is used, and how people think when creating it. Ten employees at the media house Schibsted, all working at different Norwegian newspapers, participated to this study. The results indicate that rich content in digital news articles can help convey a news story’s main points by delivering complex things in an easy and understandable way. As a result, rich content seems to encourage more readers to finish the whole article. This study has also found that rich content can be used to widen the audience, since it can make the promotion of an article more interesting and make more people eager to share the article on their own social media accounts. Furthermore, targeting news articles towards different user groups could help widen the audience even further. Strengths and weaknesses are discussed, and the future work section show potential in further investigating how different user groups are affected by rich content, and what types of articles can benefit the most by using rich content.

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