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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2009

Barrie Gunter, Vincent Campbell, Maria Touri and Rachel Gibson

The purpose of this paper is to examine the emergence of blogging in the news sphere. If blogs represent a genuinely new breed of news provision, then they should adhere to some…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the emergence of blogging in the news sphere. If blogs represent a genuinely new breed of news provision, then they should adhere to some of the founding principles of mainstream news and journalism. A key principle in this respect is news credibitility.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a review of recent literature about news blogging and assesses whether news blogs manifest many of the core attributes of mainstream news and journalism. The review considers the attributes that have previously been identified as defining good quality news and competent journalism and then applies some of these principles to “news” blogging.

Findings

There is no doubt that blogs have emerged as news sources of increasing significance and there have been occasions when they can be influential in setting news agendas. The essential qualities of credibitiltiy and capturing public trust in the news sphere, however, often depends upon the established reputation of known news “brands”. Although some blogs have emerged as reliable information sources in some specialist areas, they have yet generally to assume the key characteristics of mainstream news that drive public trust.

Originality/value

This paper provides an up‐to‐date review of a topic that is rapidly developing and attempts to set out some foundations on which further analysis of news blogging can be constructed.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 61 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 March 2009

Barrie Gunter

The purpose of this paper is to show how blogging has grown as an online phenomenon.

2852

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how blogging has grown as an online phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

Examines the way that blogs have become a phenomenon that embrace private authors who go online to write personal diaries through to representatives from different types of commercial, political and voluntary organisations who utilise them for a range of information exchange, debating, promotional and support purposes.

Findings

As blogging grows as an online phenomenon its impact in areas such as news, politics, and social networking is being taken ever more seriously. While the internet has been held up by governments as holding great economic and political promise, acting as a vehicle that can enhance public services, empower and engage citizens, and trigger new ways of doing business, the reality in terms of how it is actually applied can be poles apart from the ideal.

Originality/value

The paper provides an overview of blogging and introduces the papers in this special issue.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 61 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Barrie Gunter, David Nicholas, Paul Huntington and Peter Williams

Presents research that was designed to explore the early take‐up of a pilot digital interactive television (DiTV) health information service (Living Health) by cable television…

Abstract

Presents research that was designed to explore the early take‐up of a pilot digital interactive television (DiTV) health information service (Living Health) by cable television subscribers in Birmingham, UK. Log data indicated real‐time viewing behaviour of subscribers to the cable network on which the digital health service was carried. A survey of users delivered a return sample of 723 subscribers. Log data indicated an initial surge in use that subsided and stabilised at a lower level. Over one third of cable network subscribers visited the digital health TV site at least once during a 20‐week pilot period. The most popularly visited pages concerned sex‐related information. In the user survey, just under one in four respondents had reportedly used the DiTV service. The user profile was oriented towards older men and young adult women. Over eight in ten users found the service easy to use and understand. Over half of users consulted the service in connection with a GP visit. Some evidence emerged that use of DiTV might substitute for consulting a doctor among some users.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 55 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Barrie Gunter

To achieve its objective of having virtually all its services (central and local) online by 2005, the Government must close the “digital divide”, i.e. provide access for those…

1326

Abstract

To achieve its objective of having virtually all its services (central and local) online by 2005, the Government must close the “digital divide”, i.e. provide access for those sections of society not yet linked to the electronic, computer‐mediated communications environment. There is a need to consider user psychology as well as demography, as shown by research that has evaluated the use and effectiveness of health information and advice services provided via the television. The assumption is that simply providing access to online public services via the country’s most widespread and popular mass medium will guarantee their success, but this assumption is naïve in terms of its understanding of viewer psychology. To ensure success, it is essential to know more about the usability and application effectiveness of interactive services provided through television. This paper explores key concepts of platform availability, use and access, service and information access, service use and application effectiveness.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 55 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2002

Peter Williams, David Nicholas, Paul Huntington and Barrie Gunter

This paper attempts an overview of the literature on issues relating to the electronic provision of health information for the consumer, to provide a context for current work…

1227

Abstract

This paper attempts an overview of the literature on issues relating to the electronic provision of health information for the consumer, to provide a context for current work being undertaken by the Internet Studies Research Group (ISRG) examining the impact of various electronic platforms. Reasons why there has been an increase in interest and demand for health information and issues such as information need, take‐up and use, are elicited from the literature, and discussed with regard to previous research and the findings from the group’s own studies. Problems inherent in electronic provision, such as the dissemination of unregulated information, and barriers to information take‐up, are examined in depth. The review concludes with an outline of the implications of the issues for both the current and future work of the ISRG and the wider research community.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 54 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Barrie Gunter

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the theme of this special issue, “Advances in e‐democracy: engaging citizens and electorates”.

2836

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the theme of this special issue, “Advances in e‐democracy: engaging citizens and electorates”.

Design/methodology/approach

An overview is provided of developments in e‐government before providing a summary discussion of the papers that are presented in this issue.

Findings

While governments around the world, not least in the UK, have been enthusiastic about the use of information and communication technologies to provide better citizen access to government and public services, there is still much to be learned about how these online services can be effectively implemented and will be taken up.

Originality/value

This paper provides a primer for the remainder of this issue which combines research reports from academics working in the e‐democracy field and from practitioners in government and commercial service suppliers.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 58 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Barrie Gunter, David Nicholas, Paul Huntington and Peter Williams

The growth of the Internet and other digital media has opened up exciting opportunities for the provision of public services, for business and for personal transactions…

5686

Abstract

The growth of the Internet and other digital media has opened up exciting opportunities for the provision of public services, for business and for personal transactions. Comparisons between the earliest forms of “online” research, in the form of telephone interviewing, and offline data collection via face‐to‐face interviews or self‐completion questionnaires, revealed that the modality within which research was conducted could affect research findings. In examining the evidence, this paper indicates that the use of online methodologies has important implications for sampling, response rates, quality of data produced, and operational practices in research projects. Online research is restricted to individuals with access to relevant technologies (e.g. the Internet) and where online technology penetration is limited, survey samples are unlikely to represent the general population. Online surveys, however, can produce quicker response rates than offline surveys and also richer open‐ended responses. The important point is to recognise the strengths and weaknesses are associated with different methodologies and what differences can exist between online and offline data collection procedures.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 54 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

Julian Bowers‐Brown and Barrie Gunter

A marketing efficiency model was applied to the analysis of the use of Web sites by the three major political parties (Conservatives, Labour, and Liberal Democrats) in the UK…

1316

Abstract

A marketing efficiency model was applied to the analysis of the use of Web sites by the three major political parties (Conservatives, Labour, and Liberal Democrats) in the UK during the 2001 general election. Data were collected through face‐to‐face interviews with the Web project managers of each party, supplemented by a series of electronic enquiries sent to each party’s Web address on important policy issues. The aim was to establish the overall efficiency of political Web sites in attracting members of the electorate, engaging them, involving them and ultimately retaining them as loyal supporters. The parties used their Web sites as strategic marketing tools and demonstrated an awareness of the advantages the Internet had to offer compared with other media. A number of interactive features were included in the sites designed to engage visitors’ attention and involvement. Labour, in particular, had conducted market research to inform the design of their site. All parties invited visitors to submit comments and questions and promised to respond to such communications promptly. When this promise was put to the test, however, the parties were not all equally effective in the responses they provided. The signs are that political parties have come to recognise the significant role the Internet might play in re‐engaging a politically alienated electorate, but still have some way to realise the full potential of the Web.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 54 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Barrie Gunter, Chris Russell, Richard Withey and David Nicholas

The British Life and Internet Project was launched in 2002 to explore the way people use the Internet in Britain. It will survey people online throughout each year on a range of…

Abstract

The British Life and Internet Project was launched in 2002 to explore the way people use the Internet in Britain. It will survey people online throughout each year on a range of topics linked to the use of the Internet. In the first survey that was conducted, just before Christmas 2002, respondents were asked a series of questions about their history of involvement with the Internet and the nature of their online behaviour. The findings indicated that online technology was used overwhelmingly for sending and receiving e‐mails and for obtaining news and information linked to work and hobbies. Such is the demand of the Internet on the time of users that many acknowledged reducing the amount of time they spend on other activities, such as watching television, reading newspapers, and even going out to do the shopping. The Internet is, for most of its users, an important interpersonal communications medium, used to stay in touch and gossip with family and friends.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 55 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

David Nicholas, Paul Huntington, Peter Williams and Barrie Gunter

During an evaluation of a digital interactive consumer health television channel (NHS Direct) on Kingston Interactive Television the prominence of the channel’s menus regarding…

Abstract

During an evaluation of a digital interactive consumer health television channel (NHS Direct) on Kingston Interactive Television the prominence of the channel’s menus regarding the interactive element of its service diminished considerably over a period of four months. During this time the use of the channel declined significantly, a development that can be attributed, at least in part, to the reduction in visibility of the channel. A number of metrics (users, return visits, screens viewed, screens viewed during a visit, and time spent viewing) were employed to chart and explain the decline. Two changes to the positioning of the channel resulted in a drop of about one‐third in the number of users. Other metrics – page views and return visitors – saw similar declines.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 54 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

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