Sala de Prensa

Noviembre 2000
Año III, Vol. 2




Analising Digital Journalism: Information,
communication and technology

Joan Francesc Cánovas *

1. Introduction

With the recent explosion in the supply of interactive multimedia, there has been a devastating increase of communication studies; the focus has been primarily on the audience for computer-based media forms, particularly on the uses and effects of these new media. This is where we will try to add some specific, hopefully valuable information. Our field of study is the critical evaluation of websites with a extensive journalistic content; while we focus on countries close to the Netherlands, namely: the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland. We combed the net for sites, coughed up important criteria needed for the critical evaluation and thought of a way to expose the best sites by thorough calculation, trying to be as complete as possible. In the progress we also thought of how to tie an honest and true conclusion to our findings. First I will describe how we structured our project.

2. Working Procedure

Combing the net:

After the first session together we started off with the occupation of nine computers in our school building, getting connected to that virtual world and letting different search-engines loose on search strings like: "news AND topical AND politics". The first functional selection choosing sites to evaluate, were liable to the fundamental criteria we all agreed on. These were:

  1. General Approaches on media and journalism: ethical, critical, plural, authentic and related to rigorous news;
  2. Fundamental Contents Selection of the online media: without reproduction in a conventional media, without topical material, without fiction and with primary a European audience. Arguably with a possibility of being read in different languages.
    Sites with for example a tabloid related content were the first ones to drop out, for obvious reasons. We also skipped sites that were too general: mainly because when sites focus too much on the variety of information, this usually is at the expense of the overall quality of information. We also left out sites that are locally oriented. We considered they would have too little ‘european appeal’ to ever make it to the final top ten and as on-line versions of smaller newspapers they seem to spend less effort (manpower) to make their sites really competitive.
    After a couple of days trying to find sites in every corner of this virtual community, we summed up a list of forty sites ready for the actual evaluation.

Criteria used for evaluation:

After a couple of group sessions, where we discussed what we thought a medium like the internet could add to the journalistic outlets (1), we decided that we could divide our criteria in three broad categories: information, communication and technology or ICT(2).

See also: B.L. Massey and M.R. Levy, "Interactivity, On-line Journalism, and English-Language Web Newspapers in Asia", Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Vol. 76, No.1, Spring 1999, 138-151.
2 Thanks to Wijnand Aalderink, a teacher in digital journalism who joined one of our discussions.
  1. Information (content): this was a subject our group had quite different opinions about, and still has. The offered information is always subjected to differing interpretations. We all have our own ideas on what or whether journalism has a specific goal, purpose or meaning. We agreed to form criteria around the basic rules of journalism, which in general means presenting the public a truthful, topical, pluralistic, reliable and complete view of a certain subject. Regardless what kind of information we’re talking about because ‘news’ comes in different forms. Our criteria on information therefore were: Hearing both sides; mention of sources, Use of the 5 W’s and context and finally when the site has updated last. Each criteria is subjected to judgements: bad, moderate, reasonable, good and very good.
  2. Communication (interactivity): here we were quite unanimous. We decided to judge the site on how and whether it had a possibility for the public to react to stories, opinions etc. And in which form the site offered this opportunity. The criteria were; personal profiles, a discussion-forum and email to editors.

- With a personal profile we mean the possibility to get your own information or content customised and sent to your email account. While we combed the web many of us ran into sites using this application and saw this as an efficient way of spreading information.
- The thought behind a discussion-forum is very simple, though important. The main shortcoming of printed journalism is that it’s a hassle to really discuss certain subjects/stories with the staff or other people with shared interests. Here’s where the Internet proves itself very useful. It offers an easy way of speaking your mind and getting in contact with the people responsible for the written story. Web-communities are bound to form around people with shared interests, and there’s where journalism can study the impact of news. Very interesting.
- Emailing to editors creates a more functional binding with the audience. The question rises if the staff takes the effort to respond.

  1. Technique (form/layout): Since the Internet provides the possibility to get your information spread all over the world, multilingualism seemed an important criteria. The problem is finding a site, which actually thinks the same. The layout had various ways of keeping an audience committed to a site and can therefore be effective and efficient. A site should have a very clear and logical outlook, not too flashy but colourful and inviting. We decided to judge the sites on various layout criteria; Multilingualism, moving images, sounds, infographics, graphics, Surveyability, layout, navigation, Userfriendlyness, orientation and the possibility to search either the site or the Internet.

- Multilingualism; if the site offers their information in different languages it proves itself professional. Mainly in areas where the English language is not common. Usually the majority of the surfing crowd is familiar with the English language but the Internet is growing fast including the people who only speak their national language. It’s therefore important for sites with journalistic content to serve the growing Internet population. Arguably there’s a difficulty here; the aim of the site, and how to judge that.
- Moving images: One of the many additionals of the I-media not possible with printed media. It definitely depends where the images are used for, and with what intent. Usually the commercials are the moving parts that draw the actual attention, sometimes the site itself has a sort of info-graphic making use of moving parts.
- Sounds; well the original intent of this specific criterium is whether the site offers an online radio or tv-type content to listen to or watch. But in our evaluation district we only ran into one site making use of this possibility. The reason we chose this criterium was that many American journalistic sites use the possibility for folks to listen to online speeches of writers, activists, newsitems, etc. We thought of this as very effective use of I-media and possible impact on people. Unfortunately it’s not recognised yet.
- Infographics; we talked about this before. Very useful tool and fortunately many sites use it.
- Graphics; with the judgement of graphics used in the site we generally mean the design and colour scheme. We found it very crucial that sites use inviting and nice colours to soothe the eye. Important when reading long parts and searching for information.
- Surveyability; judging how intelligible the main-page offers the content. The ultimate surveyability is a sitemap. A sitemap provides a very clear summary of the overall site and adds to the comprehensibility. It proves itself a very important criterium because when you enter a site for the first time not finding your way around, you quickly move on.
- Layout; very much related to the surveyability and graphics. The site should have a well first impression and the layout is very much involved in this. Specifically about where certain caterns, possibilities, site-extras, links, specials, etc. are placed and to what extent they’re presented. Pictures play a big role; where to place them, how big, how many, etc.
- Navigation: "where can you get from the main-page", is the main question here. Navigation bars and their complexibility differ strongly from page to page. It’s crucial to have a clear navigational system which allows the user to choose what, where, which and whether to find information on the site. Close related to orientation.
- Orientation; every moment while you’re connected to a site you need to know where you are and how to get back. It is crucial to the quality of a site. Users bug off when it’s not clear how and where they surf.

Category 1
Least important criteria.
Multiplying factor: 1
Category 2
Important criteria.
Multiplying factor: 2
Category 3
Very important criteria.
Multiplying factor: 3
  • e-mail with editors
  • moving images
  • sounds
  • last update
  • personal profile
  • multilingual
  • info-graphics
  • graphics
  • lay out
  • orientation
  • hearing both sides
  • Mention of sources
  • Use of 5 W’s + context
  • Forum
  • Survey-ability
  • Navigation
  • Possibility to search

Category 1

E-mail with editors: We didn’t find this criteria particularly important because of the fact that all sites have this option. There was some discussion weather we should check the response time of this option. But regarding the amount of time we can invest in this project we decided to leave this aspect out.
Moving images: They look nice but they do not actually add anything to the journalistic qualities of the site. Besides, after a while they get annoying.
Sounds: Same as above.

Category 2

Last update: We think the updates should be as resent as possible because you need the most actual information.
Personal profile: As you visit a site you get a lot of information you don’t need. Therefor it is important that you are able to make a selection of the news that you want to reed.
Multilingual: Because we are working on a project that reviews sites al over Europe, we think it is of some relevance that the site can be viewed in more than one language. But as there are a lot of good sites around, aimed at only one country, we decided not to put it in category 3 but in category 2.
Info-graphics: Internet is an excellent medium to use info-graphics for making clear what you want to say, when we say this we ‘re thinking about things as maps, statistics, etc.
Lay out: The lay out can make or brake a site. When a site looks good, people will take interest in it and read it. But as we think it does not actually add anything to the journalistic qualities of the site we put it in category 2.
Orientation: It is important to know where you are on a site because you must be able to find your way trough the huge amount of information to find exactly what you were looking for.

Category 3

Hearing both sides: To ensure the journalistic qualities of the site, you must be able to find multiple opinions on the subjects. We don’t want to promote someone’s personal agenda.
Mention of sources: Anyone can put their opinion on the net that doesn’t make it journalism. So you have to know where it’s coming from.
Use of five W’s
+ example:
It’s important that an article is written with the use of Where, Why, When, Who, What and off course How to ensure you get everything you need to know.
Forum: A forum is very important to get a more personal touch with the people who are visiting your site. You ask a question and they give an answer.
Survey-ability: How easy is it for a user to find the information on the site that they need. Because of the use of clear hits you can make a site easier to use for the customers. Survey-ability comes together with navigation and user-friendliness.
Navigation: When you have entered a hit on the site, you still have to see where you are on the site and how you can get back again to the Home Page. When this is easy to do the navigation is all right.
Possibility to search: There is too much information on the site. You want to get to that little piece of information. What do you do? You fill in your search-word and there you have it, good luck with it and see you next time.

Results: The Dutch Top 10

Scores of the sites subdivided in information (contents), communication (interactivity) and techniques (lay-out). Now you can see in which individual category the site scored lots of points and in which it did not. As can be seen there was not much of a difference between the sites within the ‘comunication’ criteria. Except for one site they all contained the three aspects of interactivity we distinguished. Differences were made on the information (content) and the technique (form/lay-out) criteria. Please note that the ‘winner’ distinguished itself on especially on information (content), but that the number two did best on the technique (form/lay-out) criteria. Also note that all on-line media could still be improved from the technical point of view.

1. - Die Welt
Die Welt is a German newspaper site, which is updated several times a day. The site is more than complete and handles just about everything important in Germany and in the rest of the world. The lay out again is very modern and the articles are written for the Internet. You can read an article in two minutes or so and that’s what the Internet needs. Remarkable is that die Welt gives a lot of opportunities to discuss news issues. The file on the wall in Germany is very interesting because of the chosen approach. The presence of a News ticker helps you to keep up to date while reading articles. The archive works tremendously well. It’s fast and easy to use. You don’t have to be an expert in making up search words.

2. - Nu is not a site based on a newspaper, because of that it is unique in our top 10. Hearing both sides is done very well, the articles are well written and the subjects are very innovative. The articles aren’t too long, so that makes it very suitable for the Internet. There are a lot of hits on the site. The lay out is modern and user-friendly. The possibility to watch the Internet-journal is not seen before. The site is updated once a day, which is a weak point. There are several sites that update their site more than once a day. A lot of attention is given to the Economic Page. keeps a lot of files with actual issues. They are very complete and easy to get.

3. - De Volkskrant
De Volkskrant is a Dutch newspaper and has a national reach. Over the whole it is seen in Holland as one of the best newspapers of the country. The Internet-version looks at first sight a bit boring. But when you get into the site deeper you discover many wonderful things. Hearing both sides is done very well on the site, just like the newspaper. Our comment on the site is just that the survey-ability is not as clear as it is done at for example The hits are not well described. For example the hit "in druk", meaning "Published" is not clear enough. The newspaper is famous for it’s enclosures, it’s strange that on the site this element doesn’t catch the eye. They’re even hard to find. It’s good to see de Volkskrant cut back the length of its articles. The layout is sober and not very modern. The vertical layout is to be found at the bottom of the site. This means you have scroll all the way down to get to some links. This is very irritating. On both sides are quite prominent ad’s to be seen. They are moving ones and catch the eye in an unpleasant way. Nevertheless the site has got a nice forum. A personal profile is missing. The files are very nice and complete. When you are making an essay on a subject, check this one out!

4. - Styria
What’s very nice about is that they got a hot-link with Kleine on-line. Information from both sides is within reach with only one button. The information on Styria, by the way an Austrian news site, is complete and handles mainly about politics in Austria and Germany. We discussed this site in a meeting, because they have got a hot link to the FPÖ-site. But because other sites are mentioned as well we think it’s not a problem. Very complete, very affective in search and a lot of hits and links. The only thing about Styria is that the Layout is very old-fashioned. The site is updated more times a day.

5. - NRC
The NRC Handelsblad is a renowned newspaper in Holland and was one the first newspapers in Holland who started offering an electronic version of their paper. Unfortunately their site show many resemblances with the printed version. At first sight it’s nothing more than the written version on a computer screen. However we regard the site as specific for the Internet, because the site is updated at least twice a day. There is a possibility to discuss with the other readers. The NRC has a decent archive and very easy and effective in it’s use. They offer good links to the latest news and on the welcome-page they offer links to files, made by the NRC, which are related to the latest developments in the news. The introduction texts on the welcome-page are well written and very short. The articles self are of good quality, but they are maybe a bit too long for the Internet. We conclude that the NRC on the net is just an improved and updated version of their written version, but a damn good one. Still the use of moving images, sound and info-graphics should make this site even better. The articles are sometimes written too long. The Internet user does not read long articles. It’s much better to use links.

6. - Berlin Online3
The Berlin Online is a joint venture of the Berliner Zeitung, Berlin Magazin, Berlin Abendblatt and the Berlin Kurier. The site gives you the opportunity to read the written versions of the four named before, but there is more. The site is very up to date. Almost every hour articles and news-items are edited to the page. There is also a Newstickers, like most German sites have, that shows what the latest news is. Only the layout is a true disaster. It seems that nobody in Berlin knows how a photo-camera works. Absolutely no pictures on this site and moving images are complete abacadabra for the people of Berlin Online.

7. - Stern3
Stern is a German magazine which is quite popular. It’s quite sensational and you rather find Britney Spears instead of Tony Blair on their front cover. The online-version of the Stern does not only offer you the articles, which already appeared in the printed version, they also give you the latest news. News that’s packed in short and good written articles. The welcome page of the site gives you very good summary of the news and articles. If you want to know more about the subject just click on the word mehr and the site will navigate you in a second to that particular subject. Maybe you also like to know that the site is updated at least once a day and that the site is hosted by some webreporters. These journalists write just only about the web and we have to admit their articles are very refreshing. On the 18th of November, for example, one of the webreporters wrote about a certain wine-site. He didn’t only describe the site, but he also tasted the wines that were recommended on this site. So that’s what you calling practising what you preach. The lay out of the site is very easy-going. The colours that are used are very natural. So that makes it very comfortable to take a quick glance through the site. Besides the articles Stern also offers hundreds of other services. If you want a car, a job or a second wife. Then Stern is your site. But if that’s not what you are looking for. Then you can go wild in the different forums, chat-rooms etc on the site and every day there is the inevitable question of the day. Stern offers more Internet extras. Such as a newsletter which everybody can subscribe to. There is a possibility to play a game if you’re tired of reading and there is also a Stern-TV. After seeing all these extras. After reading all the quality-articles. After watching all those dazzling images. What else could we do than give this site a top-ten ranking?

8. - Webwereld3
Webwereld is a news site without a printed version. The Dutch site handles just about everything hot in the computer world. To make it clearer: it’s a very global site. Despite the fact that the layout sucks, the site came in our top 10. We’ll tell you why. The main reason is that just about everything. The forum is very complete and asks a lot of the customers. The site has got almost everything known in the interactive world. You can have your own telephone file on the site, secured with a password. This site has got so much links that you would need a day to check the complete site. Because of the bad layout and there is only information about computer-stuff the site didn’t became a top 3. The personal profile is very complete. The articles written about computers are easy to understand for everyone. The survey-ability is lousy, navigation the same.

9. - Wirtschaftswoche
Wirtschaftswoche is a human-interest site from Germany. It’s very complete and primary handles on politics and economy. The articles on the site are nicely written. The subjects are very original and many times show a different side of the story, the so-called background stories. The layout is a bit crowded and boring. Nevertheless the survey-ability is well taken care of. A nice extra service is their personal travel agency. Unfortunately there are not much useful links for the reader to find out more. They have got a personal profile and their forum is very complete. We like the possibility given on the Homepage to read further, when you want to. This means that the articles are not too long and when you need more information you can simply get it by pushing one tiny button.

10. - Rhein zeitung
Rhein Zeitung is a newspaper site with also a printed version. The German site handles mostly about popular subjects such as movies, theatre and sport. Off course they’ve got some news hits but over the whole it’s more a sensational newspaper. The layout is very modern and smart. Smart because when you look at the vertical hits at the left of the site the Zeitung saves up a lot of space by putting 10 hits under one hit. If you don’t understand, take a look. They’ve also got a very nice orientation link. So you can see in the blink of an eye what the site has got to offer. When you choose the archive-hit you start by putting in a word and after they find some hits you can also look on date. Just to give you an idea of how this site works we show you one example. When you go to the movie hit, you can get information from just about every big movie theatre in the country. You can also give your vote about the movie you have seen where the site gives information about. We think it’s too bad they didn’t put any more time in writing those articles.

4. Prospects

Before we go to DEFCON 2, we would like to acknowledge some shortcomings that we ran into during this project. First are the personal preferences that influence ones evaluation of certain criteria. We found that this became an evident problem for which we couldn’t cough up any substantial measures, therefore we evaluated every site at least three times by three different groups/persons, summed up the values tied to the specific criteria and split that outcome in the amount of evaluations per site. That should solve the problem.

Second is that we ran into problems such as deviations on the evaluation forms. Some pointed out that a certain site had a discussion forum available, when others couldn’t find it. These kinds of weaknesses are related to deadlines, motivation and other sources of distraction. We pity this of course, but would like to hear if the Groups in Kalmar and Barcelona had similar troubles.

We also would like to invite everyone for a critical look on the way we worked, for a more effective structure in phase two. And more feedback and discussion regarding each group’s progress is needed.

Notes: used literature

ONLINE JOURNALISTS: Foundations for Research into Their Changing Roles, Jane B. Singer, Department of Journalism and Technical Communication, Colorado State University,

Results: The Kalmar Top 10 reflects news from all over the world. The site dedicated to promoting human rights and sustainable development by harnessing the democratic potential of the Internet. The sources of the article’s are given and longer articles are linked. The site’s structure is logical and it is easily navigated. The site is in english, but parts of it are available in French, Dutch, Italian and German. The layout and typo make it even more friendly for the users. The site is not updated on weekends though. All in all a favorit.
The site has four frames. On top frame with the headlines scrolling by. The left frame stays the same all the time and here you find all categories, finance, entertainment and so on. The right frame has the different headlines for each section. The big frame in the middle is where the article is. The design is rather simple but works well. The articles vary in length but are easy to read and not to compact. Pictures in the text also help to keep it light. The articles are layouted like news paper articles which works well. The texts are rather well written and broken up in very short sections which makes it possible to read them faster but looks bad. The site updates every day. There are clear instructions at the bottom on how owns the right to text and pictures and if you want it’s easy to get in touch with Sky on-line through pressing a button. There are a few commercial banners but they are small and rather still so they don’t annoy you. The site works very well but is slow when going between categories and articles. I think this is because the site has so many visitors.
The NewsNow site is actually a big links site. There are several different categories, from business and finance to entertainment. Under each category there are several headlines. Each headline is a link and takes you to a site were the actual article can be found. After each headline there is information on were the news comes from, when it was updated and the nationality of the site, e.g. BBC 16.10, English. Further information about the source of information depends on which site you come to. Often there is no author but a lot of information on what kind of site it is. The site really updates every 5 minutes and feel very "right now". Since it’s a completely English site all links go to sites in English and all are either English or American. When you press a link the article opens in a new window which is good in this case. There are many possibilities if you want to search. The archive only goes 30 days back but there’s a lot of information. Along the left side of the screen there is a navigation bar which never changes and it’s here were you find the search function. But there is also a special search for every category, e.g. in the category you can search for film revives or top 10 at the US box office. Graphically the site is not very exciting. It’s just text but it serves it’s purpose, there is so much information but it’s so far no problem finding what you want. There is only one commercial banner and this keeps the site calm and functional. Since it’s all just links all sound and moving picture are found where ever the link takes you. I feel that this decision is well made. Since it’s all text I can find what I want quickly and then the site I come to is where I stay a long time and that’s the site that needs to be well designed, but the NewsNow site is a bit boring looking. I don’t know how they have selected the sites that they link to but the short time I’ve been using the site i think it works very well. If the quality on the sites are although high and if it works as well as when I’ve been looking at it, I find this to bee a very good news site. is based on a paper but the site has it’s own material and is updated 24 hours a day. The articles are good, they’re written for the site and the telegrams are few. The structure is logical and the site is easiy to navigate. the layout is a little different but that’s one of the reasons we liked the site. It is only available in english and maybe it ‘s a little too focused on Scottish and UK news.
This site is interesting because it combines audio & video clips with good news evaluation. The owner of the site, Radio Telefís Éireann is the Irish national broadcasting organisation. The site is only in english but it’s focused stretches out over more of Europe than Ireland. It is updated on a daily basis, easy to navigate, userfriendly. The arcive of articles, audio and video clips is huge and well structured.
Sunday Bussiness Post’s site is a Brittish site, all in english. It is very easy to navigate, logical, functunal, well structured and easy to overview. The layout t is friendly, nice and kind of different. The site contains almost only articles, text, no pictures, so it is a fast site. The archive goes way back and it’s seeking functions are good.
Berlingske Tiderne is one of Denmark’s largest newspapers. The website, however, does not have many similarities with the printed edition. It’s very adapted to the media, with a very flashy lay-out. The text is splitted into many paragraphs and rests on a grey backround, which makes it very readable. The structure of the site requires some figuring out, but once you’re done with that part it’s really good. Since most of the material is produced by the newspapers own employees, rather than assembled from telegrams, there is no linking back to any original material. There is also no sound or video clips.
CNN’s Danish site is adapted to the media in that way that the articles are very short. This is not the media to choose if you want deeper understanding of major happenings, but if you want the most important news fast it’s really good. The navigation is very good. Everything is easy to find. At the bottom of each article there is an "external link"-box, containing related links. Nice initiative. Too bad there almost never are any links to find in that very box.
This site has a very good reputation around Europe. And I totally agree. The standard is very high. Aftonbladet got everything. Good update on the news, they got pictures -both stills and film clip, the download is very fast. Besides all the news they got good links. The site is very easy to navigate. The typography is basic, nothing exiting. To mention something negative about the site. It’s on Swedish only and it contain adds. But since it’s a commercial site I don’t know if it is something to be negative about, but it might lower the credibility. As a final. is a really really good site. One of our favourites. is a copy of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (Today’s News). DN has a clear level of expectation, it is updated more than once a day, but that isn’t stated anywhere. The use of interactivity is rare, only if a subject is largely discussed in other Swedish media. Every article is signed by the author, and it is possible for the visitor to send e-mail with thougts to the author of the article. DN is easy navigated, with the major subjects to the left (domestic, foreign, sports, economics and culture) and the major headlines centered. DN is a userfriendly site, with a good mixture of design and functionality.

Results: The Spanish Top 10

Radio Comercial
It can be heard live. It has a camera put on the studio that lets you see what happens there every 2 mins. The web holds the program grid, and a briefing of the most important daily news. It also allows to see the traffic conditions through two cameras in two different points of Lisboa. One of the best we have found in Portugal.

Radio Deejay
Musical Radio owned by La Republica and Espresso's mediatic group. It fulfils the journalistic criteria. The design is fantastic (no scroll recquired) and ergonomic. The music is of the latest hour and has quality (good selective criteria). There are no reception technic problems. It uses all the posibilities and plugs in the net: recovering of old programs, music concert video clips, forum-chat, and plenty of chances of two-way comunication. JUST TRY IT!

La Gazzeta dello Sport
This one also fulfils the journalistic criteria... with a surprising twist. Throwing the contents of a traditional (paper) media to the web is the basic and, sometimes, easy idea of "electronic press". La Gazzeta becomes a publication specially created for the online format. You'll find a sports newspaper, and from the first page you'll find an absolutely multi-media Gazetta: music, videoclips, videogames, voices,...

The webpage of TF1 fulfils the general criteria (ethic, critical, plural, authentic and with rigorous news). The digital version of this TV channel has lots of thought-for-the-net applications: documental file storing, live Stocks, job and house finding services, advanced search or by subject, the chance of sending news and opinions, etc. It uses the latest material and updates it periodically. It's a multimedia, interactive media, plenty of store, with a simple but catchy design, with a very fragmented image, divided by colours. The offer seems to never end: forums, chats, personal email, complaints sheet, local weather forecasting, zodiacal forecasting, teleshopping and more. At the same time it's fast and easily browsable, although the only language available is french.

Radio France
Radio France also fulfils all the general criteria and also, despite having an original conventional media, has a bunch of net specific applications: old programs archives, the possibility of live and à la carte radio, thematic browser and personalization (even setting an alarm to new information we are interested into); they are open to opinions/news and info about the sources, and has a shop of product of their own brand. The informational material is new and updated, interactive, multimedia, extensive and very informative. The web has a modern design, very colorful, lots of animated gifs although, at the same time, is of easy use and fast downloading. The only drawback, like in most of the French press, is that language can't be changed: français, rien ne va plus.

Niçe Matin
The general and basic criteria are met. Its design is fresh and new, and 100% interactive! It's totally unrelated to its paper version, although at the users will, a "Text-only" version is available. Niçe Matin is like a small TV screen that refreshes every 10 seconds (that is, constant update). Through this front page the other sections can be accessed: the browsing is easy, as everything is simplified to the top: it's a visual and fast media. The informational capability is huge and lots of serices are offered, like Stock Values, forums, chats, search, personalized email, documental archives, forecastings, etc. The only dark point (you guessed): only-French media.

La Vanguardia
Despite originally being a paper media, the easy access of its contents, that allows to make searches dated even 6 months in the past, and the multiplicity of chances and services offered to its readers (sending letters to the director, press notes and even news) allows to put the web of this newspaper (done by a different editorial staff than the "paper" newspaper) as one of the best in the country. This media allows for personalize contents and to participate through chats and on-line debates. Only in spanish.
Toughtful magazine that analyze the life in the net. It has a personal design and high-interest contents for the www user. It can be consulted in spanish, catalan and, in most cases, also english. Its creator is the El Periodico de Catalunya's journalist Luis Ángel Fernández Hermana.

La Malla
One of the mediatic products of the Lavínia TV firm, devoted to the local (catalan) information, although also offers international news. It has some sections really interesting, like the reports one, or Sostenibilitat ("Sustaining"). It incorporates sound and video, and has a good design labor. Its weak spot is it's only in catalan.

Visually original, with an impact hi-tech design you will find in few journalistic webs. Interactive doorway? Multimedia news? Uncompared agenda? Canal21 is hard to describe, because it's all that and many other things: weather forecasts, personalization, chats, forums, local news, global news, press reviews, cinema news, email service, games... It even narrows its scale of values when one of the autonomic communities in Spain is chosen, even offering different languages (catalan, euskera, galician) , thus having catalan/basque/galician/... news and services.

* Joan Francesc Cánovas es jefe de Estudios Estudios de Periodismo y y responsable del curso Analising Digital Journalism, en la Universidad Pompeu Fabra. Esta es su primera colaboración para Sala de Prensa. (NOTA DEL AUTOR: Este es un resumen del trabajo de análisis de la asignatura Analising Digital Journalism que hacemos las Universidades de Kalmar (Suecia), Zwolle (Holanda) y Pompeu Fabra en Barcelona. El estudio no se ha publicado, pero este resumen nos sirvió para nuestro propio uso. Lo elaboramos recopilando distintos papers elaborados durante los trabajos del curso. Por tanto, no tiene una misma unidad gramatical, ni sintáctica. Actualmente estamos realizando nuevamente el curso con las mismas universidades pero con alumnos distintos. Terminaremos en enero de 2001 y tendremos, quizás, algunas nuevas conclusiones.)

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