By Lindokuhle Mnisi
Online reporting tends to be the dominating form of journalism in the new South Africa. Majority of people (and journalists) now prefers reading online news articles than newspapers. This is because everything is on their fingertips and newspapers’ spots are far from them (readers); mobile phones have access to the internet, people walk/drive with their laptops and iPhones that they access internet with everywhere they go. Online reporting is versatile as it entails print together with broadcast.
Audio clips, video footages and pictures are uploaded to complement their articles. This gives the print journalists another job of taking videos and audio clips to place with their reports. Everything in the news sites is categorised. The different navigation links makes it easier for readers to know where to find a story of their interest. These navigations include news, politics, business, columns, lifestyle, sports, weather etc.
All the stories that are published in the Sowetan newspaper are also posted on the sowetan website (www.sowetan.co.za), the same thing with City Press (www.citypress.co.za) and The Star (www.thestar.co.za). Some of the broadcast cooperation also provides news on their websites, like Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk; they have Eye Witness News website (www.ewn.co.za) which report some stories that they cover on their news bulletins. SABC also has a SABCNews site (www.sabcnews.co.za) that gives only news. All the above sites are well designed and the navigations are clear and never disappoint readers (they take readers to the stories)
Advertisements are done on these news sites. To check them, one should simply click on the hyperlink that transfer readers to the advertisers e.g. www.vodacom.co.za. The journalism practiced in online news is very diverse.
Online news has advantages and disadvantages.
· Readers get fresh news (breaking) every minute as they happen. Online publications never wait for tomorrow to publish a certain story. Unlike newspapers, they only publish every morning (stories that happened the previous day). If something happens they wait for tomorrow to publish.
· Stories are complemented by enough pictures, audio clips and possible videos. But in newspapers space is limited.
· Interaction is easier and faster, people can comment on the reports immediately on the discussion boxes. But people’s comments can only be published the following day in newspapers.
· News can be only accessed by people who have internet access. People in the rural areas cannot get updated and informed immediately as they lack resources.
· Internet is expensive.This shows that onlines news are good and also bad to some people.