New Media Research at UMN Conference

University of Minnesota. 14-15 September 2006

Falling for

and Blogs: techs or trend? The Use of Internet by Spain¶ s Newspapers
Elvira García de Torres, PhD. Visiting Scholar at INMS (UMN). CEU Cardenal Herrera University. Valencia (Spain)

Message boards (45,5%) and reporter blogs (31,7%) are the most widespread features in Spanish papers, followed by RSS (28,2%). Earlier developed tools, especially comment on articles and chats, are not so applied (10,5% and 20%, respectively). Videos (23,5%) and rankings (22,3%) neither keep up with the new tools. Technological profile. 41 of the 85 newspapers examined had none or just one feature (48,2%): RSS (3), Video (1) and Message Board (6). Of the 35 newspapers offering reporters blogs or RSS, only two had bookmarking options, thirteen displayed video and two podcast. The techie group (13 newspapers), is clearly outnumbered by the papers that fall just for fashionable tools (22). Bystanders met one to four criteria and up to 34 or none. Comparative analysis. According to the Bivings Group Report, the websites of America¶ s newspapers are generally further developed. A sample of 20 newspapers was created to effectively compare results -average circulation ten bottom America¶ s newspapers: 111,512,2; Spain¶ s 105,725,6.
Spain´s 9 8 7 6 5 4 4 3 2 1 0 9 9 6 4 33 2 0
rd oa eB ag ss in g e Me a rk l m rt ic o k ts A Bo n me m C o ll t ro en og m m Bl o s c lo g s og Bl rB r te po Re s at g Ch t in as dc Po o la r de pu Vi Po st n M o c t io e sS Rs S

Research regarding online Spanish newspapers shows that no significant efforts have been made to improve online resources in recent years. El Pais, La Vanguardia y El Mundo as well as Vocento¶s chain lead an otherwise slow process of ³internetization´
(Armañanzas et al., 1996; Díaz & Meso, 1999; Marcos Recio, 1999; Cabrera, 200l; Canga and others, 2000; Armentia et al., 2000; Estévez, 2002; Sabés, 2003; Almansa and Postigo, 2004; Salaverría & Novos Medios Group, 2005; Ramírez, 2005; García de Torres et al., 2004, 2006).

Offerings of Spain¶ s Newspapers
40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0
RS S Mo st Po pu Vi de lar o Po d ca s tin g Ch at s Re po r Bo Me Co ok mm ss ma ag t er en eB rk Bl tA ing oa og rtic rd s le s s

37 24 19 11 3 0 1 12 3 2 0 20 15 17 12 3 0 1 22 0 15 9 8 3 27 20

European newspapers have moved smoothly to the Internet, but have adopted interactivity, multimediality and hypertextuality at a slower pace than America´s newspapers
(Neuberger et al., 1998; Light & Rogers, 1999; Schultz, 1999; The State of News Media Report, 2005; Schroeder, 2004: Rosenberry, 2005; Oblak; 2005; O¶ Sullivan, 2005; Fortunati, 2005; Van der Wurff, 2005; Bivings Group Report, 2006).

‡ To assess the degree to which Spanish online newspapers are embracing Web 2.0 technologies. ‡To evaluate the Spanish online models of dependence and adaptation to the new environment, providing additional data for the ongoing project ³Media in Cyberspace. Spanish new digital environment 20032006´.


Top 25

Bottom 25

America´s 9 6 88

Top 8

3 2 1


4 2 1

4 3 11

The websites of 85 Spanish newspapers, those whose circulation figures are provided by OJD (, are evaluated based on the following features: ‡ RSS Feeds (full, sections, ads) ‡ Most Popular´ (most read stories) ‡ Videos ‡ Podcasts ‡ Chats ‡ Reporter blogs (comments & blogroll) ‡ Comment on articles ‡ Bookmarking (internal & external) ‡ Message boards Research was conducted between August 22 and August 29. Tools examined are in general fixed features, not affected by the news production process. Video and comment on articles, associated with news content and newsworthiness, were checked twice on different dates.

1 2 2 3
Technological Profile
15% 40%

26% 19%


Techies: RSS/Blog+Video/Bookmarking/Podcasting Trendies:RSS/Blog Bystanders: No RSS, Blogs,Podcast or Bookmarking f eatures Tipographics: Zero tools

According to present and previous research, Spanish newspapers in the Internet embrace new tools active in viral website content dissemination such as RSS and blogs while increasing the inner value of online news to attract new users remains as an exceptional strategy followed only by a few and strongly positioned media or groups. The adoption of ³trendy tools´ such as blogs or RSS does not indicate itself a major interest in the technological development of websites. Only if accompanied by other features such as video or bookmarking options can we speak of advanced websites.



Acnowledgements> Funds provided by the Ministry of Science and Education of Spain (BSO2003-08535, Cardenal Herrera University (PRUCH05/01), and Fundación CEU San Pablo. Nora Paul (Director of the Institute for New Media Studies, UMN), Anna Martinson (Retoric Department, UMN) and Jan Nyberg (Sevareid Library, UMN) for their ideas and support.

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