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ONLINE INFORMATION USE IN NEWSROOMS: A LONGITUDINAL DIFFUSION STUDY

Bruce Garrison Professor, Journalism and Photography Program School of Communication University of Miami P.O. Box 248127 Coral Gables, FL 33124-2030 305-284-2846, [email protected]

A paper presented to the "Media in the New Millennium: Technology, Images, Issues" Conference, Communication Technology & Policy Division, Media Management & Economics Division, and Visual Communication Division, AEJMC, February 25-26, 2000, Denver.

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ONLINE INFORMATION USE IN NEWSROOMS: A LONGITUDINAL DIFFUSION STUDY

ABSTRACT This study examines adoption of online information resources in newsrooms at U.S. daily newspapers from 1994 to 1999. Since the general public and news media began to embrace the Internet and World Wide Web in 1994, a process of adoption of this new interactive innovation by newspapers has occurred. The longitudinal survey data reveal that use of interactive information-gathering technologies in newsrooms has reached a critical mass for (a) general computer use, (b) online research in newsrooms, (c) non-specialist content searching, and (d) daily frequency of online use. Technologies such as online news research have achieved greater utility as more users have adopted them. Use levels will become increasingly sophisticated as additional users-- journalists themselves and their sources-- adopt the innovation.

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ONLINE INFORMATION USE IN NEWSROOMS: A LONGITUDINAL DIFFUSION STUDY

Adoption of new ideas, technologies, and practices takes time in any social system, even a small and highly focused professional system such as journalism. Diffusion of technological innovations has been a widely studied process.1 A subset of this research, diffusion of interactive innovations, has grown in importance with the development of the Internet and, more recently, the omnipresent World Wide Web. Rogers, in his classic study of diffusion, identifies four basic components necessary for diffusion to occur. These are existence of an innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system. In fact, Rogers states diffusion of innovation is, simply, the process through which the idea is "communicated through certain channels over time to the members of a social system."2 The diffusion process remains a significant research interest in marketing, rural sociology, and communication. Since some of the earliest diffusion research was published in the 1960s, nearly five hundred diffusion studies by communication researchers have been published.3 Diffusion is frequently approached as a communication process, separate from the type of innovation involved.4 Even understanding the different meanings of the term technology itself is said to be significant in the literature of mass communication.5 In the past decade, newspaper and other news media newsrooms have begun to integrate online commercial and Internet-based resources for research in the newsgathering process. The World Wide Web began to be embraced by the general

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public in winter 1993-94.6 At that time, newsrooms that used online resources were dependent on dedicated commercial services that were not part of larger networks. Instead, their online networks were self-contained and not readily linked, if at all, to other systems. Nexis-Lexis, America Online, Prodigy, CompuServe, and Dialog are examples of commercial services available in that manner in the early 1990s. Both the general public's and news organizations' access to the Internet and World Wide Web were encouraged by the Web's convenience, its ease of use, and the simultaneous decline in the cost of dial-up and network connections. This receptive environment created the opportunity for expanding use of online resources by news organizations. This study analyzed the adoption of online research technology in newspaper newsrooms during a six-year period from 1994 to 1999 using Rogers' model of the innovation decision process.7

Critical mass and the diffusion of innovation model Rogers has noted that the decision to adopt or not to adopt an innovation is not an instantaneous act, but one that involves a process. The decision is also an active information-seeking and information-processing behavior.8 Rogers' model identified five sequential stages that occur in the process of adoption of innovations such as new communication technologies.9 They are (a) knowledge about, or exposure, to the innovation; (b) formation of favorable or unfavorable attitudes toward the new idea, or persuasion; (c) a decision to adopt or reject the innovation; (d) implementation of the decision; (e) and confirmation or reinforcement. Rogers described five categories of adopters-- innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards-- and

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profiled each group based on socioeconomic status, communication behavior, and personality traits. For example, innovators are more individualistic and venturesome and early adopters are opinion leaders who are more integrated into the particular social system involved in the adoption process.10 This has led scholars to conclude that they are more likely to own consumer electronics items.11 Rate of adoption is influenced by relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability.12 Rogers and others who study diffusion have described the concept of critical mass required for adoption of interactive innovations.13 This unique quality occurs when a sufficient number of users has been reached to create a "self-sustaining" rate of adoption. "The interactive quality of the new media creates a certain degree of interdependence among the adoption decisions of the members of a system," Rogers noted.14 This means, simply, that there needs to be enough users to make the innovation appealing and useful to other potential users. After critical mass is achieved the rate of adoption accelerates. In some cases, however, critical mass does not apply in study of diffusion of interactive innovations. Allen noted that it does not apply to mature systems.15 For new interactive services, those perceived by potential adopters as innovations, prior adoption is significant and critical mass is relevant to study of its diffusion.16 Furthermore, as Mahler and Rogers have argued, the objective number of users is less important than the perceived number.17 Critical mass has been found to occur most often at a 10 percent to 20 percent rate of adoption. 18 Valente discussed three important points of critical mass. Inflection point measures were the seed value (or the number of initial adopters), the second-order adoption curve inflection point (or 16 percent), and the first-order inflection point (about

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50 percent adoption. Each measure represented a different conceptualization of critical mass that may apply for different types of innovations.19 Markus argued that the critical mass in interactive media is often seen as an absolute number, such as 30 users, but what he described as a tipping point occurs at 16 percent of adoption. 20 Critical mass for interactive technology is different from conventional innovation adoption. It is reached much earlier in the passage of time after an innovation is introduced, resulting in a steeper increase rate for the number of users. The key, Rogers noted, is the behavior of individuals and the larger system in which they belong.21 Rogers suggested that electronic mail, fax, and teleconferencing were examples that demonstrated the value of critical mass. He also noted studies about the adoption of the Internet and its BITNET electronic mail system in the 1980s. "With each additional adopter, the utility of an interactive communication technology increases for all adopters," Rogers stated.22

Diffusion in mass communication A number of studies have investigated the diffusion of broadcast television, cable, and related new mass communication technologies.23 Numerous other recent projects have also looked at these mass media and the process of adoption and use.24 Much literature focuses on adoption of computers in various mass communication situations.25 Other contemporary studies examine computer adoption and use, Internet dissemination and use, corporate Web site content, and home computer effects on the lives of adolescents.26

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Diffusion of new technologies in journalism Study of diffusion of computer use in journalism has several threads. One area of investigation involves adoption and use of computers in production. Chang, for example, studied adoption of computers by Taiwanese newspapers, finding that three perceived innovation attributes-- advantage over the old idea, compatibility with existing values and needs, and complexity in use and understanding-- explained adoption. 27 Other studies have focused on technologies as information sources.28 There has been some research interest in diffusion of interactive information technologies in recent years. Weir studied early adopters of electronic newspapers.29 He found general user computer knowledge or experience with electronic newspapers not important, contrary to previous literature. He noted that "opinion leadership is demonstrated to be significant, but greater innovativeness is not, highlighting a unique situation with media as an information utility."30 Trumbo and colleagues studied the growing use of electronic mail and the World Wide Web by science journalists and Buckley studied use of electronic mail in major daily newspaper newsrooms.31 Focusing on the characteristics of electronic mail as an innovation and the innovators, Trumbo and colleagues found in 1994 and 1999 surveys that "enthusiasm for the use of the Web in science journalism is most strongly predicted by a positive evaluation of the Web as an innovation. This `favorableness' toward the Web as an innovation is a function of a positive orientation toward the quality of Web information, trust in the sources behind Web information, and individual characteristics of innovativeness."32 Buckley found limitations of the usefulness of electronic mail and identified a number of situations in which electronic mail was not the preferred means to communicate with sources. These,

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she concluded, led to less enthusiasm and dampened the desire to use electronic mail to its full potential as an interactive communication innovation.33 A small body of diffusion research has focused on use of new technologies for newsgathering. Maier found that the use of personal computers for gathering information for news stories, also commonly known as computer-assisted reporting, was slowly being adopted in newsrooms.34 He found that computer use varied depending on task complexity in his study of the diffusion process involving the new reporting tools. He also determined that "computers are gaining acceptance as an every-day reporting tool," he said.35 He reported that newsrooms had passed the early innovator and early adopter stages and were, in 1998-99, emerging into the early majority stage. Diffusion theory, he concluded, provides a useful framework to assess computer-based newsgathering "Diffusion within the newsroom hinges on in-house training and other internal support mechanisms designed to develop a critical mass of computer users."36 Garrison has determined that daily newspapers have been involved in the process of adopting the new innovation of computers as information-gathering devices.37 Niebauer, Abbott, Corbin, and Neibergall found that computer technology had been accepted as a "viable innovation" but that it "had not yet reached the `adoption' threshold of 50 percent use" in Iowa.38 Other studies involving newsgathering have focused on digital photography and journalism education.39 However, it is unclear from the existing literature where journalists stand in this adoption process. The critical mass concept is rarely discussed in the diffusion in journalism or journalism technologies literature. How widespread is adoption of online newsgathering tools in newsrooms? Has critical mass been reached? If so, when? Where

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is the diffusion process of online newsgathering using Rogers' model? This study will attempt to add new evidence about that issue.

Research questions 1. How far has the process of interactive innovation adoption-- measured with online newsgathering-- evolved? 2. Has critical mass of the interactive innovation-- online news research-- been achieved?

METHODS Public awareness and commercial use-- including that by news organizations-- of the Internet and World Wide Web grew considerably in late 1993 and early 1994.40 This study is based on a series of national mail surveys beginning at that point in development of the Web. Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to a census of daily newspapers with 20,000 or greater Sunday circulation for six consecutive years beginning in January-March of 1994 and ending in January-March of 1999.41 They were developed from interviews with journalists and from group discussions at national conferences about investigative reporting, computer-assisted reporting, and news research. While most questions used each year were the same, some were added or deleted from individual instruments as changes in availability of tools or use of computers dictated.42 The unit of analysis was the daily newspaper. Questionnaires were mailed with postage-paid return envelopes to the computer-assisted reporting supervisor, the

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managing editor, or the executive editor. When sent to a general editor, recipients were asked to forward the questionnaire to individuals most qualified to respond. This resulted in a mix of specialists serving as respondents, including investigative reporters, CAR specialists, news librarians, news researchers, and editors. Respondents were asked to respond on behalf of the entire newsroom, indicating their perceptions of newsroom use. While a longitudinal design was used and consistency in individuals responding at a particular newspaper each year was sought, the same individual did not always respond because of turnover and changing responsibilities. Populations were 514 daily newspapers in 1994, 514 in 1995, 510 in 1996, 510 in 1997, and 504 in 1998 and 1999. In each census, follow-up mailings were used to increase the response rate. In 1994, one follow-up mailing was utilized, but in all other censuses, there were two follow-up mailings. Response rates were: 40.5% (n = 208) in 1994; 56.5% (n = 287) in 1995; 45.7% (n = 233) in 1996; 44.3% (n = 226) in 1997; 36.7% (n = 185) in 1998; and 34.9% (n = 176) in 1999. Because the study involved analysis of a population, not a sample, significance tests are not reported.

FINDINGS The process of interactive diffusion is nearing completion in daily newspaper newsrooms. Respondent newspaper demographics have been consistent over the six years. Response patterns represented all geographic regions of the country and have produced a median circulation each year of about 50,000 to 55,000 copies. Respondents each year represented several typical information-gathering roles in newsrooms,

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including editor, computer-assisted reporting supervisor or specialist, news researcher or librarian, and reporter.

How far has the process of interactive innovation adoption-- measured with online newsgathering-- evolved? Data in Table 1 clearly show the steady, but nearly complete, spread of adoption of computers in newsgathering in newspapers with 20,000 and larger circulation. In 1994, when first measured in this study, use was already at two-thirds of newsrooms. This is, according to Mahler and Rogers, Markus, and Valente, well beyond the point of most definitions of critical mass.43 By spring 1999, adoption had reached almost 95% of newsrooms. The diffusion of online resources for newsgathering has closely paralleled the diffusion pattern. From little over half of newspapers in 1994 to more than 90% in the past two years, it is clear that newsrooms have embraced this new research tool in the newsroom. Furthermore, news organizations are using computer technologies to distribute information as well. In addition to computers in production, which were not studied in this project, interactive online technologies, such as the World Wide Web, are now part of the daily newspaper's means of reaching its markets. While only two-thirds of newspapers had their own Web sites in 1997, the number rapidly grew to 82% a year later and almost 90% in 1999. Few newspapers in 1999 did not use the Web for news distribution, advertising, or other marketing purposes. Use of the Internet and Web has also grown in a similar pattern. Furthermore, data in Table 2 show similar adoption processes occurring that involve other interactive online research tools, commercial database services. In fact, close examination of data would

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show a decline in use of some commercial online services at the point of the Internet's most rapid expansion and growth in the mid-1990s. This is contrary to the critical mass proposition, which assumes an irreversible trend. Internet and Web use increased from only one in four newsrooms in early 1994 to more than nine in ten newsrooms by 199799. Commercial services, offering limited content not comparable to the Web, have slid as their usefulness has fallen. General online services, such as America Online and CompuServe, have significantly declined in use in recent years as they have turned away from primarily a content and database access provider role to Internet access and services provider role. Even some specialized commercial database services, such as Dialog and DataTimes, with their niche content, have slipped in favor of information on the Web. An interesting subset of this development is use of government resources. While federal and some state government resources were available on the Internet through Gopher and other services prior to the introduction of the Web, it is clear from data in Table 2 that government information access dropped as it was phased out of Gopher services and gradually phased into the Web through the middle of this decade. Today, with increasing volume of content and number of government Web sites at federal, state, and local levels, use continues to expand over the past four years. One of the effects of the change in use of interactive online resources over the past six years that is outlined above has been the nature of the search. Traditionally, reporters and editors depended upon news librarians to assist in finding information. Certainly, this was the case with archive files, but it was also a role for librarians when expensive commercial online services were involved. With the introduction of easier-touse interfaces and lowered prices, this situation began to shift. Reporters and editors

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became more involved in the research process themselves. When the Web was introduced in newsrooms, the evolution accelerated. Data in Table 3 show this process occurring. In 1995, for example, fewer than one in four reporters conducted online research. By 1999, the proportion had grown incrementally to two in three reporters conducting their own research using the Web. When the figure for "anyone in the newsroom" is considered, the proportion is even higher. Most interesting, perhaps, in Table 3, is the decline of the news researcher in conducting online searches. The proportion dropped from more than one in four in 1995 to fewer than one in ten in 1999. News researchers, as a way of explanation, have taken on a growing role as online research trainers and instructors for others in their newsrooms in recent years.44 Study of adoption patterns should also include a measure of frequency of use. Data in Table 4 indicate that frequency of use has also grown in a pattern similar to other interactive online technology adoption patterns. Daily use has increased rapidly, from just more than one in four newspapers in 1994 to almost two in three newspapers in 1999. Those newsrooms with less frequent use have also increased those use levels as well. However, extreme infrequent use levels-- monthly or less than monthly-- have remained flat or declined.

2. Has critical mass of the interactive innovation-- online news research-- been achieved? Analysis of data for the past six years suggests that a critical mass, the level of use needed to self-sustain adoption of online resources in news reporting has been reached for some, if not all, variables. If critical mass is assumed to be at the 16 percent rate cited

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by Markus and Valente, as well as others, online news research was beyond critical mass in 1994. Initial measures of computer use and use of online resources were slightly above 50 percent in 1994 and steadily increased from that point. While Web site use was not measured in 1994 or 1995, it also displays adoption rates of more than half beginning in 1996. These rates suggest that newsrooms may have been somewhat ahead of some sectors of the commercial user market. In those measures reported in Figures 1-4, a majority of users has been reached and growth after that point seemed to accelerate, as Rogers' model suggests.45

Figure 1a Use of Computers

100.0 80.0 Percent 60.0 40.0 20.0 0.0 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Year Uses computers Uses online

Data presented in Figure 1a suggest that general computer use in newsrooms reached the 16 percent level for critical mass long before development of the World Wide Web and Internet, probably in the early 1990s, although data were not collected at that time for this study. Rates for use of online resources also passed the critical mass long before the spurt in growth of the World Wide Web in 1994. Online resources were available in non-Web forms prior to 1994 to create a critical mass. Public sector, private sector, and commercial services offering both public and private content were already widely adopted-- enough to surpass the Markus and Valente operationalizations of

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critical mass by 1994 and the levels have only increased at a steady rate each year since 1994. Data in Figure 1b show a similar pattern in adoption of Web site technology for distribution of news content. Online news sites were already above the 60 percent level when first measured in 1997, suggesting that critical mass of adoption of this interactive technology may have been reached as early as 1994 or 1995. Figure 1b Use of Web sites

100 80 Percent 60 Web site 40 20 0 1997 1998 Year 1999

Figure 2 data suggest that critical mass in newsroom use of the Web and Internet may have been reached prior to 1994-95, the years of greatest general public growth in use of the Web and development of Web sites. However, growth in 1994 to 1995, 1995 to 1996, and 1996 to 1997 was most rapid in terms of proportions of use in newsrooms. Online local government resources reached critical mass several years later, between 1998 and 1999. This is likely because of availability rather than desire to seek and use the information. Many government agencies were not available on the Web until that time. But journalists, as users, were ready for such access as it became available. By comparison, use of commercial services such as America Online and Nexis-Lexis was

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flat or in slow decline during the same period. Use of America Online began to decline in 1996 at the same time Internet use grew most rapidly.

Figure 2 Online News Resources

100.0 80.0 60.0 40.0 20.0 0.0 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Year Internet / Web Local gov. Lexis-Nexis AOL Percent

Self-searching for information online by non-specialists appears to have reached its critical mass as well, perhaps in 1995 (or earlier, but data were not collected in 1994), as Figure 3 suggests. The percentage of reporters conducting their own online research is increasing rapidly while the percentage of librarians is declining as others in the newsroom learn the skills. Figure 4 shows daily frequency of use reached critical mass by 1994, perhaps in 1993 (but no data were collected to confirm this). Other frequency levels were in slow decline or flat as daily use grew.

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Figure 3 Individuals Conducting Online Research

80.0 70.0 60.0 50.0 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 1995 1996 1997 Year 1998 1999

Percent

Reporter Librarian Anyone Editor

Figure 4 Frequency of Online Use

70.0 60.0 50.0 Percent 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 0.0 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Year Daily Weekly Monthly < Monthly

DISCUSSION Diffusion theory has sustained over four decades of communication research because of its "practical importance and its applied nature."46 It is one of the most widely used theoretical approaches in the social sciences.47 Analysis of the diffusion process enhances understanding of how certain phenomena, such as interactive technology innovations, bring about social change.48

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Rogers has noted that there is uniqueness in the diffusion of interactive innovations.49 The value of interactive Internet information-gathering tools-- such as the World Wide Web-- to journalists has been discussed in recent research literature and is evident in this study.50 Adoption of these interactive innovations is nearly complete. Computers are clearly entrenched as newsgathering tools. Online resources have also become essential to the newsroom. The Web is firmly in place as the leader among the interactive database resources available to journalists. It has become, in just a few years, the dominant newsgathering resource in newsrooms. Commercial services, which were available much earlier than the Web, did not receive the use levels nor appeared to have that potential in their form as dedicated single-purpose dial-up services. In the HTML world of the Web, this pattern may change. Numerous commercial services have modified or completely dropped software in favor of the more familiar, more widespread and easier-to-use Web browser formats. The increasing frequency of use of online resources found in this study indicates that adoption of the interactive technologies begins gradually and becomes more frequent, following the classic S-shaped diffusion curve. As Rogers indicated, it is a process and not a case of immediate transition. Some individuals are more venturesome and adopt early, others have higher thresholds, or resistance to innovation, and are more likely to adopt later.51 Instead, as the S-shaped diffusion model might suggest, growth in use takes place as users become more comfortable, learn new applications, and, ultimately, trust the technology to enhance their work and not damage it. Clearly, with any technology, there are risks in use and some adopters are reluctant to place themselves

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in vulnerable positions on deadline or at other times when completion of work is the highest priority. The changing research habits themselves are indicative of the evolution in information gathering in the newsroom that was occurring in the 1990s. News librariansnews researchers conduct much less of the newsroom's background research than they once did. This points to the high impact of the World Wide Web as a research tool. Reporters are better prepared to conduct their own research today than they were a decade ago. Reporters are becoming news researchers and, contrary to the interests of role-bound newsroom traditionalists, news researchers are becoming reporters. Perhaps it is time to rename these two groups of individuals in the newsroom to form a single taskoriented group known as information gatherers. Critical mass has been reached in general computer use, use of the Web as a research resource, and use of the Web as a distribution medium. Computer use is more widespread in newsrooms than in the general population. However, measuring the exact critical mass point is difficult, if not impossible, in this study. As with other adoption of innovation studies focusing on interactive technologies, the matter becomes complicated by what Mahler and Rogers explained was the "problem to determine when further diffusion becomes self-sustaining."52 It would seem that newsrooms and news people would be receptive to innovative communication technologies. While there is clear acknowledgement of success and motivation to use these tools-- such as extended coverage and depth, added speed, finding difficult-to-find information, and locating sources-- there is evidence in this study of some resistance to adoption of innovative technologies. Often, non-adoption

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decisions are made because of a perceived low rate of diffusion, bad information, and a bad price and bad value ratio, Mahler and Rogers observed.53 Reasons cited for not adopting online resources in newsrooms included reluctance by management to lead toward adoption, lack of resources to invest in new technology, lack of training, little or no access to the new technology, lack of expertise, fear of lost time required to learn, and not enough time in the work schedule.54 A news organization that embraces the Web and other forms of interactive information gathering can overcome these barriers. Early institutional interactive technology adopters, such as the Raleigh News & Observer in North Carolina, serve as examples.55 Data presented in this study forecast a bright future for use of interactive information-gathering technologies in newsrooms. Just as a single telephone was not useful, journalists and their news sources not using an interactive online feature render it just as useless as that single telephone. Interactive innovations achieve greater positive externalities as more users adopt.56 This is the case for online news resources in newsrooms. Use levels will become increasingly sophisticated as additional users-- journalists themselves and their sources-- adopt.

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TABLE 1 GENERAL USE OF COMPUTERS Category Uses computers in newsgathering Uses online in newsgathering Newspaper has own Web site

1994 66.3% 57.2 -----

1995 69.7% 63.8 -----

1996 78.1% 80.7 -----

1997 88.1% 89.8 67.3

1998 89.7% 95.1 82.2

1999 94.9% 92.0 89.2

TABLE 2 LEADING ONLINE RESOURCES IN NEWSROOMS Service 1994 1995 Internet / World Wide Web 25.0% 44.6% Local government online 38.9 27.2 Lexis / Nexis 28.8 28.2 America Online 17.3 38.0 PACER ----19.5 Autotrack/DBT --------FedWorld ----19.9 Usenet Newsgroups --------Any type of bulletin board 35.6 31.4 Dow Jones 16.3 12.2 DataTimes 14.9 26.8 Dialog 26.4 22.3 CompuServe 38.0 39.4

1996 66.5% 28.3 28.8 47.2 23.2 ----20.6 ----35.6 13.3 24.5 18.5 41.6

1997 91.6% 46.0 25.7 42.5 27.4 20.4 19.9 ----23.9 15.5 19.9 15.0 26.5

1998 92.4% 54.1 36.2 35.1 28.1 27.0 21.1 21.1 20.5 20.5 19.5 16.2 13.0

1999 93.2% 71.6 36.9 23.3 25.6 30.1 21.6 17.0 19.3 28.4 10.2 10.2 8.0

TABLE 3 INDIVIDUALS CONDUCTING ONLINE RESEARCH Position / title of person 1995 1996 Reporter 23.5% 31.8% Librarian/researcher 25.3 17.2 Anyone in newsroom 22.6 22.3 Editor 3.6 4.3 None/missing 14.5 21.0 Other 10.4 3.4

1997 48.2% 15.5 21.7 2.7 11.1 0.9

1998 1999 44.9% 68.8% 15.7 9.7 29.7 13.1 1.1 1.1 7.0 5.1 1.6 2.3

TABLE 4 FREQUENCY OF USE OF ONLINE RESOURCES Frequency 1994 1995 Daily, more often 27.4% 28.9% Weekly, more often 12.1 22.0 Monthly, more often 3.6 9.8 Less than monthly 1.4 5.8 Missing / never used 38.9 33.8 Other 17.3 ----

1996 36.9% 25.8 12.9 4.3 20.2 ----

1997 51.8% 28.8 4.9 7.1 5.3 ----

1998 63.2% 25.4 2.7 3.8 4.9 -----

1999 63.1% 22.7 4.5 2.3 7.4 -----

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REFERENCES

Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations , 4th ed. (New York: Free Press, 1995); Everett M. Rogers and Arvind Singhal, Diffusion of Innovations, in Michael B. Salwen and Don W. Stacks, eds., An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research (Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996). 2 Rogers, op. cit, p. 5. 3 Rogers and Singhal, op. cit. 4 Ibid. 5 James B. McOmber, Technological Autonomy and Three Definitions of Technology, Journal of Communication, 49, 3, Summer 1999, pp. 137-153. 6 Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor (New York: HarperCollins, 1999), pp. 79-80. 7 Rogers, op. cit. 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid. 11 For example, see Michel Dupagne, Exploring the Characteristics of Potential High-Definition Television Adopters, The Journal of Media Economics, 1999, pp. 3550. 12 Rogers, op. cit. 13 Rogers, op. cit. See also Alwin Mahler and Everett M. Rogers, The Diffusion of Interactive Communication Innovations and the Critical Mass: The Adoption of Telecommunications Services by German Banks, Telecommunications Policy, 23, 10-11 1999, pp. 719-740. 14 Ibid, p. 313. 15 David Allen, New Telecommunications Services: Network Externalities and Critical Mass, Telecommunications Policy, 12, 1988, pp. 257-271. 16 Mahler and Rogers, op. cit. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid. 19 Thomas W. Valente, Network Models of the Diffusion of Innovations (Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press, 1995). 20 M. Lynne Markus, Toward A "Critical Mass" Theory of Interactive Media: Universal Access, Interdependence, and Diffusion, Communication Research, 14, 5, October 1987, pp. 491-511. 21 Rogers, op. cit. 22 Ibid. 23 Carolyn A. Lin and Leo W. Jeffres, Factors Influencing the Adoption of Multimedia Cable Technology, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Summer 1998, pp. 341-352; Dupagne, op. cit.; Ted Carlin, The Digital Satellite System: Innovation Attributes and Adoption, unpublished paper presented to the Communication

1

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Technology and Policy Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Baltimore, August 1998. 24 As examples, see Seungwhan Lee, The Convergence of the Web and Television: Current Technological Situation and its Future, unpublished paper presented to the Communication Technology and Policy Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Baltimore, August 1998; Randall Patnode, From the Ether to Cyberspace: Development Patterns in Emerging Media, unpublished paper presented to the Communication Technology and Policy Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Baltimore, August 1998; Kimberly A. Neuendorf, David Atkin, and Leo W. Jeffries, Understanding Adopters of Audio Information Innovations, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 42, 1, Winter 1998, pp. 80-94; Jerry Renaud and Nancy Mitchell, Early Adopters of Audio Digital Workstations: Say Goodbye to Conventional Radio Production, unpublished paper presented to the Radio-Television Journalism Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Washington, D.C., August 1995; Greg Viggiano, Diffusion of a Diffusion Instrument: DirecTV and DBS Services in the United States, unpublished paper presented to the Broadcast Education Association, 1994. 25 Carolyn A. Lin, Personal Computer Adoption and Internet Use, unpublished paper presented to the Communication Technology and Policy Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Anaheim, Calif., August 1996, Carolyn A. Lin, Exploring Personal Computer Adoption Dynamics, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 42, 1, Winter 1998, pp. 95-112; Eric A. Abbott, Rethinking the Role of Information in Diffusion Theory, unpublished paper presented to the Communication Theory and Methodology Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, New Orleans, August 1999; David J. Atkin, Leo W. Jeffries, and Kimberly A. Neuendorf, Understanding Internet Adoption as Telecommunications Behavior, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 42, 4, Fall 1998, pp. 475-490. 26 For instance, see Per Hetland, The Internet in Norway: Dissemination and Use, Nordicom Review, 20, 2, November 1999, pp. 33-44; Suchitra Vattyam and Charles A. Lubbers, A Content Analysis of the Web Pages of Large U.S. Corporations: What is the Role of Public Relations and Marketing? unpublished paper presented to the Public Relations Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, New Orleans, August 1999; Alice P. Chan and Teresa Mastin, Internet Use and Issue Knowledge of the College-Age Population, unpublished paper presented to the Communication Technology and Policy Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, New Orleans, August 1999; Mine-Ping Sun, Effects of Home Computer Use on Adolescents' Family Lives: Time Use and Relationships with Family Members in Taiwan and America, unpublished paper presented to the Communication Technology and Policy Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Washington, D.C., August 1995. 27 Li-jing Arthur Chang, Computerization of Taiwanese Newspapers, unpublished paper presented to the Communication Technology and Policy Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Baltimore, August 1998.

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Joey Reagan, Bruce Pinkleton, Che-fei Chen, and Dustin Aaronson, How Do Technologies Relate to the Repertoire of Information Sources? Telematics & Informatics. Spring 1995, pp. 10-17. 29 Tom Weir, Innovators as News Hounds? A Study of Early Adopters of the Electronic Newspaper, unpublished paper presented to the Newspaper Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Baltimore, August 1998. 30 Ibid., p. 12 31 Craig W. Trumbo, Kim J. Sprecker, Gi-Woong Yun, Rebecca Dumlao, and Shearlean Duke, Use of E-mail and the Web by Science Writers, unpublished paper presented to the Science Communication Interest Group, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, New Orleans, August 1999; Suzanne Buckley, Email Use by Newspaper Editors, unpublished paper presented to the Creativity and Consumption Conference, University of Luton, U.K., March 1999. 32 Ibid., p. 21. 33 Buckley, op. cit. 34 Scott R. Maier, Digital Diffusion in the Newsroom: The Slow Embrace of Computer-Assisted Reporting, unpublished paper presented to the Communication and Technology Division, International Communication Association, San Francisco, May 1999. 35 Ibid., p. 12. 36 Ibid., p. 15. 37 Bruce Garrison, Online Information Use in Newsrooms, unpublished paper presented at the Creativity and Consumption Conference, University of Luton, Luton, England, U.K., March 1999; Bruce Garrison, Journalists and Their Computers: An Inseparable Link for the Future? unpublished paper presented to the Mass Communication and Society Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, New Orleans, August 1999. 38 Walter E. Niebauer Jr., Eric A. Abbott, Lorena Corbin, and John Neibergall, Computer Adoption by Iowa Newspapers-- News/Information Flow Management, Production and Business Uses, unpublished paper, Iowa State University, Ames, September 1999, p. 9. 39 See James D. Kelly, Going Digital at College Newspapers: The Impact of Photo Credibility and Work Routines, unpublished paper presented to the Visual Communication Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Anaheim, Calif., August 1996; Amy Nelson Bosley, ComputerMediated Communication in Education: Student Perspectives, unpublished paper presented to the Communication Technology and Policy Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, New Orleans, August 1999; Morgan David Arant, Going Online to Teach Journalism and Mass Communication, unpublished paper presented to the Communication Technology and Policy Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Anaheim, Calif., August 1996. 40 Berners-Lee, op. cit., pp. 79-80. 41 Ian E. Anderson, ed., Editor & Publisher International Year Book 1998 (Editor & Publisher, New York, 1998).

28

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The 1999, 1998, and 1997 questionnaires are available on the World Wide Web at <http://www.miami.edu/com/car/index.htm> and the 1996, 1995, and 1994 questionnaires may be obtained by request. 43 Mahler and Rogers, op. cit.; Markus, op. cit.; Valente, op. cit. 44 Bruce Garrison, Successful Strategies for Computer-Assisted Reporting (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, 1996). 45 Rogers, op. cit., p. 314. 46 Rogers and Singhal, op. cit., p. 419. 47 Abbott, op. cit. 48 Rogers and Singhal, op. cit. 49 Rogers, op. cit. 50 For example, see Randy Reddick and Elliot King, The Online Journalist: Using the Internet and Other Electronic Resources (Harcourt Brace College Publishers, Fort Worth, 1997); Steven S. Ross and Don Middleberg, Media in Cyberspace Study: 1997 Fourth Annual National Survey, <http://www.mediasource.com/intro.htm>, accessed January 10, 1999; Cecilia Friend, Daily Newspaper Use of Computers to Analyze Data, Newspaper Research Journal, 15, 1, Winter 1994, pp. 63-72; Christopher Callahan, The Cyberspace Advantage, American Journalism Review, 19, 3, April 1997, pp. 38-39. 51 Rogers, op. cit., p. 322. 52 Ibid, p. 738. 53 Mahler and Rogers, op. cit. 54 Bruce Garrison, Computer-Assisted Reporting, 2nd ed. (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, 1998). 55 Ibid. 56 Rogers, op. cit., p. 319.

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