With reference to your chosen case study consider how important interactivity is to media institutions?
Case Study: Newspaper Industry (The Guardian)
Audience demand for interactivity could be considered as the main driving force behind the development of new media and if the audience demand it then the industries need to deliver. The newspaper industry is struggling because the circulation figures are falling and with that the revenue that comes from advertising. Newspapers could not be considered interactive in the printed form because consumption of the newspaper is passive. However, if the online version of the paper is visited the experience becomes ‘active’ because the visitor is now in control of her consumption and can choose what to look at/watch/listen to, can download files and podcasts, share articles with friends and contribute to a discussion using one of the numerous ‘talkboards’. Online newspaper ‘Users’ now have a wide range of choices available to them for where they get their news and it seems the only way to keep them coming back is to make them feel part of a community, a difficult task for a national paper. If a successful community is necessary to keep their ‘unique user’ count up then interactivity at a combination of levels is crucial to the success of the paper.
Read the article 'The future of News is Scarcity' (on this blog) for inspiration.
Some ideas for development of points:
Who are the audience for the Guardian? Are they already a community because they share an ideology?
The Guardian were the first to use blogging technology - What do the Guardian offer by way of an 'online community' now? How busy is the community?
What threats do the community face? The Guardian News and Media division is losing money and staff but they are adamant that they won't move to paid for content. Also comment on the Guardian's decision to launch an iPod app for the Guardian yet leave out access to read/post user comments - good idea?
Are the Guardian making any moves to leverage their standing in the 'community' to bring in additional revenues as the author of the above article suggests?
Their newest acquisition is actually a digital publishing and events company in the US called ContentNext - they seem to be seeking a global audience and community for their product.