The Computer Chronicles – Digital Journalism (1993)

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no they haven’t shut down this printing press for good yet Gutenberg is still alive and in fact in just a few minutes this press will be cranking out tonight’s edition of the San Mateo Times but there are some futurists who say that the days are numbered for the printing press that increasingly our journalism will be delivered electronically and not on paper today we’ll venture into the new world of digital journalism on this edition of the computer Chronicles computer chronicles is brought to you in part by Intel microprocessor technology for the software of today and tomorrow Intel the computer inside additional funding is provided by the software publishers association providers of educational materials to help manage software don’t copy that floppy and buy hewlett packard personal computer division welcome to the computer chronicles I’m Stuart Schiff a and with me today is Michael Bradshaw of compact publishing and Michael publishes CNN NEWSROOM on a cd-rom what can I do with CNN on my computer Michael we can explore six major topic areas and global affairs all right so I see the choices I have are suppose I’m interested in the waging peace part of what you have we can click on waging peace and we’ll go down to more specifics more choices and I’m interested in fact in the United Nations so what do I do now we can view a video a stream of videos about the United Nations from CNN news right so you just clicked on that icon and I’m seeing so CNN news file footage here that’s correct what else can I do well that topic is backed up by a variety of text material we could go down and take a look at a text file these are wire service stories newspaper stories on that they’re from around the world all right now I want to do a specific search my interest I really wanted to find out about the UN role in Somalia so how do I do that sir well we called up the search engine here I’ll need to type in some search words putting in the keywords United Nations and I said Somalia Somalia okay and what size database we go through here we’re going through 15 megabytes of text here you found 11 articles and 11 articles rather quickly and there’s my choice of stuff well then let’s go ahead and take this one this one’s from the Paris area so you’ve got international sources going goes real quickly what about the globe part of this I said I globe icon at the beginning what do I do with that well that’s our atlas this provides us a lot of data that supports these news stories that we cover so I could click on a part of the world on the globe and find out information that’s right you can go down through all the countries of the location I have for you is this as neat technology but is there a customer for this does anybody really want to get their news on a computer well yes we’ve actually developed a way of in print and video journalism in a way that’s never been possible before this medium came along so you’re kind of redefining news in a way you said it’s correct story we have all right today we will look at several ways to get the news without reading a newspaper listening to the radio or watching TV now while one of the thrusts of digital journalism is electronic delivery the other goal is personalized news and information that’s the focus at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge Massachusetts information tailored to the individual me not the masses is the focus of the research here at the MIT Media Lab Walter bender directs the news in the future project which includes work on context-sensitive delivery systems that combine elements of broadcast text and electronic delivery according to the taste of the individual consumer I get a newspaper delivered every day I get the bender bugle delivered to my computer every day I get my personal news on the screen every day I also get the news delivered to my pager and I like having it that way I like getting all those things and I like having the system help me sort out and make sure that right things get to me at the right time adapting the technology to suit the content of the message is a key area of research in this project the salient still special imaging software allows you to collapse the content from four frames of video into one composite still photo we want to divorce the content from any fixed or hard fast representation of that content so that that content can get delivered in a form that’s timely convenient useful to the consumer of the content making sense of the huge amounts of complex graphical information that will soon be available courtesy of the information superhighway will require high-resolution Hardware this is the world’s highest resolution multi-dimensional monitor with a 6,000 by 2,000 pixel display you can for example look at 500 movie images at one time now this is just completely impossible with with the television set today but once computation gets into that television set then you will have options of watching things contextual relief which is to see lots of things at one time so that you can perceptually compare information which is something that’s not possible today for the computer Chronicles I’m Janelle Patterson one of the major factors in digital journalism is the growth of online services telephone delivered data which puts the news on your computer screen here to show us two approaches to online journalism are Bob Engel executive editor with the San Jose Mercury News and Chris hasit of PE D software the makers of a product called journalist Bob I want to start with you and I’ve got today’s San Jose Mercury News right here but you have the paper also online on the computer huh we do have the paper online that’s not the principal mission of mercury Center but the paper is online it’s so it’s really more than just the paper we’re going to take a look at all it’s intended to be deeper information supplemental information new ways of communicating with the editors and and users with each other show me the advantages of reading the murk online then well if let’s suppose you were outside our circulation area or you were in a hotel room on the road let’s say okay so I’m in the East Coast and I want to read the morning murk right you can click on in the news then go to today’s paper and you see that it’s organized in approximately the same way as the daily newspaper you’ve got front-page national/international etc click on national let’s say and you get a listing of all the headlines that are in that day’s paper so one advantage is I can read the paper without physically picking one up without physically picking it up this is exactly the same text that’s in the daily paper it’s there by about five o’clock Pacific Time eight o’clock all right you said I can go deeper than just the paper or show me what’s right well in every area there are supplementary information and for example in this paper right here if I could there’s a story about President Clinton speaking to some Democratic Party people and it says text of Clinton’s speech in 680 guys need to more stuff if I want it on the computer correct so you’d go in here click the inner code key which I got out of the newspaper so you got out of the newspaper and go directly to the text of Clinton’s address to the Democratic Council without having to go through any other menuing sure what else going to do I imagine I can do text searches which I obviously couldn’t do with the piece of paper you can do text searches if you have an interest in let’s say Intel computer and you want to look at just recent articles you can do a text search on Intel and it’s in about three months time you’ve got 106 so I’m not just searching today’s edition in fact I can go three months back well actually you can go all the way back to 1985 if you go into the news library we have there this is a premium service but it’s relatively inexpensive and this is a gateway to our electronic library system that includes everything that we’ve published since 1985 so I can access the same files that your editors or writers could could access correct so let’s suppose you were interested in checking and Intel a patent situation in 1988 you could say Intel and patent and then do a search now this is online to view text in Philadelphia which is another company that we honor so once again just like we saw before with the CNN disc this is kind of the market plus I mean I can do more with this than I could have done just with the paper that’s right that’s right alright quickly who’s using this I mean who’s the customer who wants to pay to do this kind of thing I think at the moment the customer is people who know what an online service is and so we are still in the in the process of skimming current online users but we think that that’s beginning to change now and people who never have used online services are wanting to do this because it is tied to their news paper sure all right thanks a lot Bob I want to move over here and talk to Chris and you have a slightly different approach I guess to online journalism Chris tell me what you do with journalists well journalist is a program which really taps on the information that’s available from online services like prodigy because you’re online with prodigy here it’s actually starting to go online with productivity and what I have defined is my own personal view into the new system okay so this is gonna give me my pour or your personalized newspaper laid out the way you want it laid out and with the content that you weren’t exactly for instance what I’ve done and I’ll zoom in on this there’s no news there actually won’t see much but the the headline here is telling me that I’ve to headline news so that’s the latest news available and this is news that could have happened only 15 minutes ago so this is extremely up-to-date and what you’ll see next to it is the news on business stories latest press releases if I’m a business oriented person I might tailor my newspaper to be more business when we’ve set this all up ahead of time I said I want to see this is the newspaper I want to say this is my newspaper another individual might be entertainment oriented or another individual might actually be oriented towards sports very interested in the latest sports so this newspaper can be customized to your view now what success especially exciting about it is I can schedule this newspaper so that you don’t have to wait for the news I can schedule it to acquire the news every morning for instance I can schedule it to be ready on my printer at 7 o’clock you can automate the whole download layout print process I wake up and then my printer is my version of them exactly so what happened there is the first story came in and I’ll actually zoom in on it so you can read it on on the screen this happens to be the endeavour snatches the Hubble which is something that happened fairly recently pulling the stories online off prodigy automatically squeezing them into the format exactly and of course when you get done when this is done we call it filling or requiring information from prodigy you of course can print this to any printer that’s supported by windows and again I mentioned it can be waiting for you on your printer by the time you wake up it’s now moved on to business news and I can show you the business news article it’s low airfares it’s Christmas time so I imagine that’s something of interest to many people and it will move on to politics news and it not only will pull in text the program is fully capable of using the windows down there down below I’ve actually asked the program journalists to keep track of this happens to be Conner peripherals keep track of its price and over time it stores it in a database that I can get a better view into into stocks that may be of interest to me can we go back and see what’s happening with with the land of the paper okay it should be what its gonna do now it’s gonna tell me what I might look forward to tomorrow as far as weather so you’re putting a color weather map on so this is your own USA Today exactly so this this weather map again is will be in full color so you can get an appreciation for whether you should go to the beach tomorrow I’m just going to take me to download this paper this paper will take about three minutes you’ll see the weather map come in momentarily and then it will move on to the portfolio of stocks that I’ve selected and again these stocks will be updated you could schedule it to keep you up to date every 15 minutes or on a longer schedule and what happens as you say here’s what would finally happen if I got up in the morning and came down to my printer there would be if I were Tyler Tyler’s newspaper with just that’s exactly right is this available for services other than prodigy it is available we currently have a product very similar to this that sells on CompuServe this product will be available in March and it will be widely available people tend to really latch on to it because it allows you to to kind of personally define what you want to look at in news all right thank you all right one of the most promising areas of digital journalism is financial news and one of the first major efforts in that field is the private financial Network it’s a new computer-based news service from CNBC skip Kline is a healthcare analyst at t rowe price one of the country’s largest money management firms and one of about 25 subscribers to the private Financial Network television coverage of financial news and events is beamed via satellite directly to skips PC a companion data service called first call lets him access trading charts and other news about the subject of the broadcast I like it because it gives you know pretty accurate presentation of information that’s going on out there and it’s often in its full form it’s not edited or cut off at you know the end of 30 minutes because they have to go on to a soap opera of some sort they give me the full text and the full information that I can then work with and analyze myself CNBC provides production support a satellite uplink and a portion of the programming pfn crews cover all of the New York Society of security analysts presentations and conferences of interest to financial professionals will cover a number of brokerage conferences we’ve done conferences for Piper Jaffray and Alex Brown Paine Webber first Boston we cover press conferences we’ve done recently the the Viacom and paramount press conference the key Corp and society Bank press conferences we’ll do new product announcements so that’s sort of the nature of our programming the pfn signal can also be fed directly to television monitors such as this one in a trading room at t rowe price to receive PFN on your pc you need an IBM ps/2 TV unit or a video board and a color VGA monitor for the computer chronicles I’m Janelle Patterson the growth of cd-roms and the ability to put full motion video on a PC have created a new platform for the weekly newsmagazine and the television documentary here to show us both are Michael Rogers managing editor of Newsweek Interactive and also Steve Padraic president of media multimedia Mike let’s begin with you and this is Newsweek interactive Newsweek on a cd-rom or as in fact is that what it is is this is this Newsweek magazine on a CD it’s much more of the Newsweek on a cd-rom it does have the last three months in a Newsweek five hundred thousand words all searchable by word it’s available in stores and by subscription it’s got a lot more than that though because we think this is a new medium and we have to create new stories right from scratch and show me what you mean here basically we see this as a blend between magazines television and radio it’s none of those it’s some new thing but it begins like a television show in turn we could sit here and watch this for a while pictures will scroll credits and so forth but unlike TV at any point we can say no and go straight you’re in control you’re in control and go straight to the table of contents now this is more like a magazine we can go around there’s various features here are our two feature documentary one is about special effects one is about health care these are very in-depth pieces because they’re quarterly behind the screens is about special effects we begin with a short piece of video that is from a hit movie of last summer in the line of fire it runs for a while just to give us some idea of this is an example of special effects inside to these special effects that you can’t see but at any point we can go straight to the documentary which begins like a television documentary in Hollywood they call it an X it’s the glue that holds together when I wasn’t watching different we’re a TV that’s right or I can take charm exactly when you hit the explore button it’s the impact it drops you into the text the exact word-for-word text of the documentary you’ve been watching only now it looks like a magazine this is the narrator script isn’t exactly not like a magazine but with additional information the bold-faced words have charts photos you can pull up as much information as you like keep going through read it like a magazine when you’re tired of reading it like a magazine you can drop back into what we call a narrator mode now your the documentary again and it’s like television again added tricks to this is what we’re interested in bass students usual effect since you can’t do on television and you can’t do in magazines I’ll give you an example of a couple other features like that one thing that we’re interested in is interactive video and what I can show you here is a feature called face to face which is in a sense a twenty minute video documentary but cut up in a special way you know I can choose which of these guys I want to talk to or interview in a size we just heard a question special effects not just a job verse a exactly let’s choose stan winston’s why say I want his answers that’s right we click on that Stan comes up characters don’t do and we can keep going through we can ask more questions we can ask the question the twins of the trade second thing here’s an example of an interactive poll we publish polls in Newsweek they’re based on a lot of research but we can only do a few charts and graphs in an issue here draw your own graphs are interested to see the extra success with respect to political parties so you’re giving race your raw data and that’s right my own ground exactly on the fly this is the kind of technology we think it finds digital journalism thank you very much Mike very impressive Steve let’s take a look at what you have here I guess Mike was showing us the news magazine turned into digital journalism you have essentially the TV documentary turned into digital journalism and I guess we’re gonna look at the JFK assassination cd-rom and show me what you can do with this one well what we tried to do was to give you the ability to have both the best of a videotape where you have a linear presentation like what’s on the screen now in an effort to gain votes for the 1964 presidential election so this is like watching the TV show right right what more can I do with this well armed with that kind of knowledge then you can take a look at the films and photographs and begin to analyze it as you might for example it turns out that there were actually four films taken that day in Dallas when President Kennedy was shot and we have the film from those okay so we could take a look at the Zapruder film for example right just click there and not only can you look at it you can look at it any way that you might want you can take a look at a normal view on this a slow-mo frame-by-frame can do it the full screen whatever you might like is what are we going to see here using a Bell & Howell the real time exactly Abraham Zapruder captured you know if I want to really study this frame by frame I can do that yes you’ll probably click the frames button here and then after comes on you can actually have the ability to you see the frame counter in the corner but beyond that you can move the counter and pick the frame I want exactly like if you want it to move it to somewhere close to the assassination of the frame of the moment yeah right all right so what else can we do I see you have lots of other options up first yeah you can actually take a look at zoom in views you can see more text information you can actually learn about the film or you can go back to the main menu and look at some other information okay assuming this you have one of the nice things about it is we actually tried not to take a point of view in this title at all for example we have a number of analysis which were basically animations done these were all done especially for this product so again you’re showing the three different views on what really happened right we’re in Commission conspiracy House Committee pick your point of view right okay so show this one do you pick the conspiracy for example all of the animations on this screen take those assumptions no we’re done huh so if you were to click on say it’s a sniper’s nest view you see what would have didn’t seen from there all right you’ve clicked on that one icon and we’re gonna now see the view that might have been seen by an assassin aiming at the presidential limousine the numbers in the upper right hand corner correspond to frames and is approved obviously a lot more powerful than just watching a TV show right certainly more you can stop and rewind it or even just watching a tape I mean you can really dig inside here and did you say take a different point of view this is not just Oliver Stone but you want it all right what else can we do here well it’s actually kind of funny that you mentioned Oliver Stone because we also have a lot of information based on text for example I think it’s essential that you have the complete text to the Warren Commission in this but the crossfire book which the Oliver Stone movie based on text so the Commission report write a lot stuff in here also so if you simply click there you get a menu of all the major table of contents click on save the assassin and you learn more about that you can actually scroll through so if you want to read this all online you can do so but what I think most people would rather do is find tell me about the depository building simply click on that hotspot and you see a photograph of mm-hmm alright so we’re at where else can I go well once you go back to the main menu if you’re fairly young and you really don’t know a lot about the topic what are the nicer features is the ability to look at Dealey Plaza map for example we have hundreds of photographs can go to the film and photo map and you can take a look at what it would look like from this point of view this is actually Dealey Plaza yeah and you can even zoom in on this which was positioned at the end of the motorcade passes the stuff now who do you see is using this kind of thing and this is very deep very rich I can say if you’re an assassination aficionado you know you’re gonna play with this I mean what other kinds of things are you going to do what other kind of titles would you come out with in this format well the same kind of format anything which people are very curious about that can actually be explored in a number of different detail levels one of the things that I think separates the title like this from some other ones is that you don’t need to know a lot about the topic you can begin with the introductory overview and slowly won’t go into the detail most people are never going to read the Warren Commission this verbatim but if they wanted if you want to do research you might have to go to the library it’s right on the right you have really an unlimited depth range which is something it’s only possible with the cd-rom technology really is a new definition of journalism I mean there’s stuff that never existed before Society thanks so much well that is our analogue look at digital journalism stay tuned now for this week’s computer news on random access in the random-access file this week hewlett-packard has introduced the world’s first microprocessor with multimedia capabilities built in the new PA 7100 LC chip is a RISC processor that can handle digital images video and digital audio without any external Hardware the chip will support both the MPEG and jpeg standards HP says the chips will be used inside its new HP 9000 and HP 3000 systems as well as in new land server products Intuit has jumped onto the software freebie bandwagon and is offering trial copies of Quicken for only an $8 shipping and handling charge the demo version is a full copy of Quicken but it limits you to a set number of accounts and transactions the trial edition of quicken is available by calling 1-800 6 2 4 5 0 7 1 and if you’re worried about importing quicken files into chip softs TurboTax it should become easier than ever Intuit has announced the acquisition of chip soft as a wholly owned subsidiary continuing the trend toward mergers in the tax and personal finance areas Mac week magazine and the San Francisco Examiner report that Apple is set to launch its own online service in competition with prodigy CompuServe and America Online no official word from Apple yet though the examiner says Apple will officially announce the new online service at the upcoming Macworld Expo in San Francisco will have a complete special program on Mac worlds coming up in a few weeks the first two international version of Apple’s Newton message pad is now being sold in Germany Austria and Switzerland the German language version of the Newton comes bundled with a 2 megabyte PCMCIA card loaded with sample applications all this Corporation has announced a new division to create software for interactive multimedia publishing the new division is called the interactive publishing products group the new software will allow you to create and distribute electronic information including sound video graphics and text all this launch the desktop publishing category in the 80s with its innovative page maker program and finally the latest battle over sex and violence and computer games is focused on a new PC game called the Battle of the Robo babes when the characters covered in armored battle each other and their male dominators for freedom if the Robo babes don’t win with violence they try more seductive strategies the game comes from a company called mega tech which already got into trouble with an earlier computer game called Cobra mission that’s it for this week’s random access for the computer Chronicles I’m Janelle stelson


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