The new “News at Seven”

In our textbook, “Advancing the Story: Broadcast Journalism in a Multimedia World,” we describe a virtual newscast being developed by Northwestern University’s InfoLab (www.newsatseven.com). Now, a new customizable version of News at Seven is live on the site, albeit in a Beta launch.

Previously, the site displayed a virtual newscast in which the stories were pre-selected by folks working on News at Seven. In the beta version, you now get to pick what you want to see from a list of content areas, such as U.S. news, entertainment, gadgets, etc.

They’re still working the bugs out, though. For example, I wanted to see a little bit of everything so I selected 7 or 8 categories at once. After 15 minutes of waiting, I gave up on the show ever loading.

You can read all about the new breaking news capabilities as well as the localism the site tries to provide via zip code registration. It was also interesting to see the reaction to a story NPR produced about the new site. One person commenting has journalistic concerns about this type of project:

They are enabling the corporate media to eliminate jobs and control what is called news. Rewriting wire services, which already exhibits “press release journalism,” will make any original journalism too expensive and labeled rogue and unimportant.

An interesting viewpoint. What do you think? Is this a compelling innovation or a dangerous invention? Neither or both?

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