Archive for January, 2011

Google, the king of the world!

How can the choice that Google makes influences the work of the journalists and the content of an article ?

First we have to notice that Google is becoming more and more powerfull. In the meantime of ten years, Google became an incontestable reflex for the internet search. Apart maybe of China, he has the monopoly of the information search on the web. Google is, in this spirit, comparable with Microsoft in the world of sofwares : an obligatory channel.

Symbolising google as the king of the world


As internet is becoming an always more important search way for journalists in their job, we would like to analyse the meaning that Google has in their way of working.

To start searching informations on the web, journalists use Google as initial points. 99.8 percent of the journalists use the search engine Google first.

We can notice an endorsement of the use of new technologies. The question is now : are these new technologies an advantage or a disadvantage for journalists ?

On one hand, it’s true that the time you need now to do your research is divided by ten or hundred. You musn’t spend anymore hours in the library to look for a book, then copy the pages you need before reading them. This time, you can spent it in searching more informations an controlling the accuracy of the things you write. We see here a positive effect of the use of search engines like Google.

On the other hand, we’re now living in a world where the quickness of the information has been multiplied by hundred. The dread of the journalists are the following : How do you want us to make a correct job if we don’t have the time anymore to do our research, to search deep infos ?

The way the journalists are writing also changed. By a simple Google search, your attention is directly attract from the ten first websites that Google is listing. That’s all the question of the so called « page-ranking ».

The journalists wrinting especially for the web have also to follow some rules. The basics are put the infos on the top of the paragraph, make short titles with the most of infos inside…

With this focus on the first result you find on Google, is there not a standardisation emerging ? We all are telescope to the same sources of infos.

We can conclude that Google is now taking an always biggest place in our world and in the infos we are finding on the web. From there, it’s up to the journalist how hi want to do his job. Taking the advantages of the quickness of Google without to forget that there is others possibilities of finding information.  It’s up to you, future journalists !

Angélique Rime



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Is Wikipedia a credible source for journalists?

Of course not! But what is?

Journalist can of course never solely rely on information obtained through Wikipedia, but such sayings remain irrelevant. In effect, prior to their use and publication, the source and credibility of almost any information ought to be verified by the journalist.It’s part of the job!

After a concise definition of Wikipedia, we will reflect on the consequences its use may have upon journalists. In conclusion, we will maintain that despite its disadvantages, Wikipedia is simply fabulous and unquestionably part of last decade’s best innovations.


Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Singer. It’s content is collectively produced via a wikis system, which enables every Internet user to freely participate to the creation and modification of Wikipedia articles. Due to it’s permanent modifiable status, all Wikipedia articles are to be considered unaccomplished and thus, potentially improvable. The mission of this enterprise can be summarized through Wales’ following statement: “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing” (

Similarly to Kant’s concept of public publicity, Wales’ believes that qualified knowledge can be produced through means of public interactions. In January 2010, 267 editions of Wikipedia have been recorded, which means that today Wikipedia is available in more than 267 languages. In February 2010, Wikipedia contained more than 15 million articles, which makes it the biggest encyclopedia of all time.

How does it work?

One quickly wonders how on god’s green earth Wikipedia protects itself from false information and defamation. Besides the gigantic amount of Internet users who contribute to the modification and production of its content and thus, verification (anyone can post a alert message indicating his or her doubt on the veracity or legitimacy of a wikipedia information), Wikipedia is also managed by a distinct organization in which each employee has a title and specific function. Among their tasks, the supervision and verification of Wikipedia’s content which also implies, if necessary, the removal of defamatory or suspected false information.

But this is not all. A significant part of Wikipedia’s management is produced by voluntary work. Thousands and thousands of volunteers contribute daily to the quality of Wikipedia by tracking, removing or replacing erroneous data. These wikipedia volunteers are themselves incorporated in a hierarchic structure granting them various types of freedom and power. “Normally, the correction of an error or a fallacious information is corrected within a few hours or even minutes” asserts cofounder Larry Singer in an interview reported by Le Figaro the 15th of October 2007. Of course, these corrections mainly depend on the popularity of the subject.


As a journalist, using Wikipedia as a source is problematic mainly for one precise reason: wikipedia articles, which are all by definition copyright free, possess neither authorship nor inscription else than the name of its Internet platform, Wikipedia. This feature is tricky for a journalist because it hinders him from authenticating the obtained information and thus, to protect himself from the eventual consequences that could result from the publication of an erroneous information. In other words, the use of Wikipedia, if not completed by secondary sources and authentications, increases the journalist’s risks in publishing erroneous information and therefore, the eventual degradation of his reputation.


Even though Wikipedia is unable to certify the reliability of its content, one ought to admit that Wikipedia is a marvelous entrée en matière for millions of subjects. When one is completely lost, Wikipedia appears to be the most basic rescuer one can find. Every article published on Wikipedia is supported by distinct sources, which are meant to lead one to further websites capable of deepening one’s research.

Moreover, publishing information extracted by Wikipedia and no other source is just a bad idea for any journalist. Why? Simply because what can be found on Wikipedia is what everyone “in theory” or at least potentially, already knows. And no one wishes to purchase information that may be found for free on Wikipedia. The golden rule: to use Wikipedia as a source of inspiration and guidance, but never ever as  an exclusive source of an information.

Malka Gouzer

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1 Comment, le moteur de découverte prêt à concurrencer google.

Aujourd’hui, force est de constater que nous sommes submergés par de plus en plus d’informations sur les blogs, le web en temps réel et le web social. Il est difficile d’obtenir de l’information fiable et de bonne qualité. Cette réflexion obsède les concepteurs web, qui sont sur le point de révolutionner la toile. Rencontre avec l’un d’eux, Alexis Dufresne, qui nous présente son bijou, source de crainte pour google.


Un nouveau système de recherche

Sociologues de formation, le québécois Alexis Dufresne et le genevois Kian Rieben ont créé, en septembre 2009,  l’agence Inovae, spécialisée dans la création et la gestion de sites sur la base du logiciel Drupal. ( est le principal projet de ces deux passionnés des nouvelles technologies.


Alexis Dufresne, le créateur de

De 2006 à 2009, Alexis Dufresne, aussi blogueur à ses heures sur a créé, un agrégateur de blogs spécialisés dans le domaine de la technologie et du « high tech ». Cette plateforme sert actuellement de base de développement et de test à Faveeo.


Les recherches entreprises dans la création de faveeo ont pour but de pallier au problème d’ « infobésité » en réunissant différents réseaux dans un système basé sur la recommandation de contenu.

Avec la venue de, nous assistons au passage d’un web de la demande (à l’image de google) à un web de l’offre. L’information vient à nous grâce aux réseaux que nous utilisons.

Certes, les réseaux sociaux nous permettent d’accéder à l’information, mais ils demandent un gros effort de tri. Les amis que nous avons sur, par exemple, sont souvent des amis dans la vie réelle. Par ce fait, les informations obtenues par ce biais manquent de pertinence. En remarquant ce paradoxe, Alexis Dufresne voit dans son projet le moyen d’accélérer les réseaux sociaux.

Aujourd’hui, la demande pour avoir un web plus sophistiqué se fait entendre. Cela se fera grâce à la compilation du web social et du web sémantique, consistant en la capacité d’attribuer du sens au contenu des sites.


Comment fonctionne faveeo?

Le créateur présente son site sur

L’utilisateur de faveeo doit y être inscrit et cela peut-être anonyme, précise Alexis Dufresne. Il sera possible d’avoir différents types de profils, plus ou moins avancés selon l’usage que l’on en fait. Ainsi des versions différentes sont offertes selon la profession de l’utilisateur.

La page d’accueil standard est divisée en trois principales parties:

  • La fenêtre principale présente à l’utilisateur  le contenu recommandé selon ses propres intérêts. Chaque contenu est tagué et le thème est succinctement décrit.
  • Les billets les plus consultés sur internet sont affichés sur le bas de la page.
  • Sur un menu déroulant, les mots clés qui apparaissent le plus sur le web sont présentés. Ils sont directement triés selon les thèmes suivants: people, produits, organisations et pays. Il est possible de consulter ces mots clés selon une période donnée, ce qui permet de connaître les tendances présentes sur le web à l’instant « t ».

    La possibilité de croiser les mots clés, fonction qui précise la recherche est un paramètre qui permet d’affiner les recherches.

Les résultats sont tous directement intégrés avec Twitter, offrant ainsi une vision instantanée de notre information en temps réel.

En visitant sa page, l’utilisateur pourra donc consulter les pages correspondant à ses intérêts et, par la suite, les affiner. De plus il lui sera possible d’observer les tendances présentes sur la toile. Ses informations le mettront en contact avec d’autres utilisateurs qui partagent les mêmes centres d’intérêts.


Concurrents de faveeo

Parmi les diverses plateformes proposées sur le web, quelques-unes présentent un concepts qui s’apparente à celui de faveeo:,, et figurent parmi celles-ci.

Toutefois, contrairement à, elles n’offrent pour la plupart, pas la possibilité d’interaction entre les utilisateurs.


Google a peur

Face à ce probable changement du web, google frissonne. Le géant de la toile ne craint pas la concurrence, elle craint sa propre complète disparition.

Maintenant que les nouveaux outils sociaux engendrent des usages différents du web, les utilisateurs vont de moins en moins rechercher l’information. L’offre de google devient peu à peu obsolète et la plateforme doit véritablement trouver un moyen d’effectuer la transition entre web de recherche et web de découverte.


Avantage pour les journalistes

L’accès à une information de qualité représente un avantage certain. Les journalistes ne devront plus voguer dans une recherche chronophage d’informations. Une économie de temps et des informations plus précises seront à leur disposition.


A suivre

Alexis Dufresne souhaite que son projet voie le jour en avril 2011. Il reçoit pour l’instant principalement des messages enthousiastes de la vaste communauté des bloggers.

Cela annonce une nouvelle ère sur le web.

Affaire à suivre, donc, de très près.


Caroline Christinaz




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Réseaux sociaux

Comment les médias se servent-ils de Facebook?

Les réseaux sociaux ont pris depuis quelques années une proportion exceptionnelle dans le quotidien des internautes. Qui n’a pas de compte Twitter, Facebook ou MySpace ? Combien de fois vous connectez-vous et combien de temps y passez-vous ? Nous allons ici nous pencher plus en profondeur sur le cas de Facebook. Ce réseau, qui a dernièrement dépassé Yahoo au niveau du nombre de visites, est positionné troisième plateforme mondiale la plus visitée sur le web. Un avantage, un danger ?

Pour les médias traditionnels, il s’agit surtout d’une opportunité à saisir sans attendre ! En effet, Facebook c’est aussi le début d’une vision radicalement différente de l’usage du web par les internautes. Il s’agit d’un moyen alternatif pour les « fans » d’accéder aux informations, par le biais des liens, des groupes et commentaires que l’on peut trouver et partager sur Facebook. Alors comment les médias se servent-ils de Facebook ? C’est ce que nous allons analyser dans cet article.

Saviez-vous qu’il existe une page Facebook justement dédiée aux médias ? Nommée Facebook+Media, elle suggère aux médias quelques conseils afin d’utiliser au mieux les possibilités du réseau. Il existe de nombreux boutons, tel que « J’aime », « Partager » ou « Recommender », qui permettent de faire suivre des liens, qui peuvent rapidement faire le tour de nombreux utilisateurs. Mais avoir sa propre page Facebook, créer des événements et encourager les forums peuvent être tout autant bénéfique pour les médias. Les chaînes de télévision, les radios, les journaux, les blogs et services sur Internet : tout le monde peut élargir son réseau par le biais de Facebook. Est-ce que ce n’est pas magnifique ? De plus, maintenant rares sont les pages qui ne sont pas pourvues de ces petits logos !

Mais alors, tout le monde peut devenir journaliste et participer dans ce nouveau monde de l’information ? Oui ! Non seulement, c’est grâce aux internautes, que les liens se forment, que les sphères d’amis et de connaissances s’entrecoupent, mais en plus nous pouvons transmettre des informations très rapidement ! Lors d’une interview, Xavier Couture, ancien journaliste et publicitaire, notamment pour TF1, le relève par un exemple: « Prenez la cérémonie d’investiture d’Obama. CNN s’est associée avec Facebook pour permettre aux membres de la communauté Internet de commenter en direct la cérémonie. »

La presse

Alors que la crise de la presse se fait ressentir dans le monde entier, les journaux tentent de se relancer par la voie numérique. Facebook peut donc être une solution pour chercher de nouveaux lecteurs ! Prenons par exemple, le journal suisse romand Le Matin. Si l’on devient fan de leur page Facebook, alors vous êtes directement informés des dernières actualités. Les liens proposés amènent sur le site officiel du quotidien. C’est rapide, c’est pratique et ça ne coûte rien, ni pour vous, ni pour le journal !

Voici un graphique, qui représente vraiment l’impact de Facebook. Il existe bien des façons pour amener les visiteurs sur un site média, mais ici, face à Google News, c’est par le biais du réseau social que les internautes sont majoritairement passés.

La télévision

Nous pouvons faire la même observation dans le domaine de la télévision. En effet, une étude menée au Royaume-Uni par Yougove-Deloitte en 2010 a résulté sur une constatation, qui sera de moins en moins étonnante : 79% des jeunes de 18-24 ans surfent sur les réseaux sociaux, tel que Facebook, en même temps que de regarder la télévision.

Comment l’a-t-on su ? En constatant le nombre de personne commentant en instantané le programme qu’ils étaient en train de regarder !  Alors il est tout bénéfique pour les opérateurs d’être présents sur Facebook, pour aller chercher plus d’audience. Ils peuvent également attirer les internautes sur leurs pages, en proposant des contenus supplémentaires ou lancer des discussions, tant recherchées par les fans. C’est un lieu de rencontre qui peut attirer les individus sur les sites officiels ! Futé, n’est-ce pas ?

La radio

Pour finir, nous pouvons évoquer le cas des radios, comme par exemple la radio genevoise ONE FM. Les ondes ne permettent pas de transmettre des images, des vidéos et ne donnent pas la possibilité aux auditeurs de répondre et interagir avec les acteurs de la radio. Bien plus efficaces que les blogs proposés sur les sites officiels, les pages Facebook sont idéales pour le partage ! Mais cette interaction peut aussi être un moyen de publicité, afin de chercher de nouveaux auditeurs !


Et vous ? Quel utilisateur de Facebook êtes-vous ? Trouvez-vous que ce réseau social est la plateforme idéale pour se tenir au courant de l’actualité, ou bien restez-vous l’internaute fidèle aux sites de news ?


Audrey Ducommun

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How Youtube has changed the way we watch videos

In 2010, Youtube announced a 2 billion daily video circulation for 1 billion subscribers. Online video websites completely transformed our relation with the video media, creating a new language and offering us a freedom that TV wasn’t able to get.


Cinema is 115 years old, television 84 and Youtube 6! Each one of them created a massive revolution in the way people behave, learn and communicate. During 109 years, communication direction has only been in one way. There was the emitter and the receptor. People didn’t really have the opportunity to watch what they wanted. The program was fixed, the news always at the same time, the TV always in the same room. 6 years ago, following a huge movement of interactivity, Youtube was born thanks to three former Paypal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen et Jawed Karim. They had the idea to create a sharing video platform as did with pictures the previous year. Now, Youtube is a worldwide website translated in 24 languages that exceeds 2 billion views a day. More video is uploaded to Youtube in 60 days than all three US major networks in 60 years! Such a huge change in video consumption affects our relation with the whole video media deeper than cinema or television did in their early years because of one single powerful element: commitment.

Freedom of choice
Internet is the real release mechanism of interactivity. It allows everyone to write and share whatever they want. Due to technological progresses, download speed increased a lot these last years and permitted the web to open itself on the video media. Writing being what it is, a huge branch of the population wasn’t concerned by this deep change, but when Youtube was created, interactivity reached his next level. Since that moment, everyone had the ability to post a glimpse vision of his own world. And the effect was immediate. With multiples emitters all around the world, the amount of content became amazingly huge. Every passionate individual could share his movies and find news ones on the same subject created by others users. For the first time in History, the viewer decides what He wants to see. The video became regional, private, and dedicated to every single occupation. Even the slightest, most anonymous moment in someone’s life could be accessible all over the globe.
On the BBC forum, the debate “How has YouTube changed your world?” contained a lot of interesting comments about how and when people watch Youtube videos. In 24 hours, 345 comments were written and most of them were focused on entertainment and learning. But the meta-conclusion is that they could watch precisely what they intended to watch! Their choices are not dictated any more by a distant and foreign authority. Emitters and receptors become the same person.

A new language
But the really interesting aspect is not who uses the medium and what interest they have. The real interest comes from how people use this new media. They’re actually creating a new language. Take MadV, a Youtube user wearing a Fawkes mask and performing magic tricks. He created a short clip with his hand in front of the camera. It was only written: “One World”. Then he urged viewers to react. It inspired more than 2’000 video answers! Everyone could give his mute opinion. Marshall McLuhan pointed out that we tend to use every new media the way we use the previous ones. It is the same with today’s webcam video, most of the people use it to watch what they really want, but they do it the same way they watch TV. MadV and others like him create a new approach of online video culture. A new language is born.



How are social networks useful for journalist research?

Social networks have taken an increasing place in our day-to-day life. Facebook, twitter, myspace, LinkedIn, Flickr or Digg have all become major tools of communication and information sharing. We only need to have a look at the number of active users that each have to realize how massive these social groups are. For instance, Facebook has around 500 millions users as of 2011, Twitter has around 175 millions and targets 200 millions by the end of 2011 of tweeter users. The graph you’ll find below shows the increase of tweeters users within 6 months. Everyday millions of people post public and private information through plain text, photos, videos and many other custom features. This constitutes a tremendous source of information for the media. But are they really usefull for journalistic research? To answer to this question, let us first assess what we understand by using the term ‘useful’: it represents information that can be used by a journalist in his research in the scope of his work.








Hollywood superstar Ashton Kutcher is one of the most active Tweeter user by posting information about his private life everyday. In 2010 Kutcher posted intimate pictures of him and his wife Demi Moore. The day after those, the media jumped on the opportunity and flooded the web with articles about it. But is this journalistic process accurate? We can assume that it relates to the entertainment sector and a public figure’s private life; it therefore contributes to his personal career and relates more to his own communication strategy than to relevant. Indeed, Kutcher adresses his audience directly by posting this kind of information, and we can consider that the media plays the role of intruding intermediary in this case, as it will only relay the information without applying any kind of analysis on it. Darius Rochebin, an iconic Swiss TV news Anchor on the Télévision Suisse Romande (TSR), uses his Facebook profile to actively seek news or witnesses coming from the general public directly. Here, the approach is different as Rochebin seeks information to complete his research vs using it as the core of his work.

Picture of Demi Moore posted by Ashton Kutcher on Tweeter.







Picture of Demi Moore posted by Ashton Kutcher on Tweeter.

Social networks are also used by newspapers and magazines that invites them to contribute to their work directly. This is called “public journalism”. The local newspaper “20 Minutes” which is released in the French and German speaking part of Switzerland, uses this method by advertising for public journalism. Tis is called ‘I Reporter’ and encourages people to send photos or videos of what they feel could be relevant to the paper. They even developed an I Phone application which allows any I Phone user to snap and send material directly to their offices. I Reporters can receive CHF 50 to CHF 100 in retribution based on the quality of their contribution. Although we consider that the information is not of the finest kind, this strategy allows the Newspaper to cover a large amount of topics while benefiting from a ‘momentum’ advantage as the transmission of the information is almost live. The British television channel BBC also allows people to submit content. During November and December 2010, European transportation channels where paralyzed due to heavy snow and wind storms. The tv channel received as much as 35,000 photos from users of their platform. These two examples show that the public has the will and resources to participate in a journalistic process; although we would not go as far as saying that it could complete one. We can simply say that public journalism is a valuable additional journalistic resource when it Is duly filtered by the concerned media.

The British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ underlined that “already 8% of the Daily Telegraph web traffic comes from social media”. But journalism cannot be defined by information. “Journalism needs discipline, analysis, explanation and context”, notes Richard Sambrook, the director of the BBC Global News Division in a conference in Oxford about the interaction between the internet and the news industry.

Now let us ask ourselves: “Is the definition of journalist is gradually changing?”

Nadia Barth


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iPhone: A new way to access information?


The iPhone is a practical tool that revolutionizes Internet access. It is now possible to go on the web in almost all areas of daily life. The number of users of smart phones is growing rapidly. The question is whether the gadget will revolutionize the way to get the information. In any case, it seems well that the iPhone is becoming a new means of access to information.

Since the 2000’s,  journalism is facing the advent of the Internet.This creation has radically changed the way of consuming information. In 2007, Apple introduced a tool called iPhone, one year later; 17 million of equipment have been sold.


Today, the iPhone offers more than 85 000 applications used by 50 million people around the world.


iPhone applications of press titles

Today, most newspapers offer applications (mostly free) that allow user to have quick access to some or the entire content of the paper version. For instance, the French daily Liberation which for the sum of 0.79 Euros offers the possibility to obtain the digital version of the title sold on newsstands. In addition, the application provides access to all headlines since 1973. It is also possible to create your own one. There is too an interaction with the public, in fact, it is possible with this application to send photos of actuality events. Images sent by Internet will be published for some on website.

A demonstration video is posted

The sports magazine l’Equipe also offers an application for 0.79 Euros.


But the vast majority of iPhone press applications are free. For example, the French news’ paper le Monde offers an application that has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times in 2009. It is one of the most read titles on the iPhone in France.


The free application of le Figaro has also a lot of success and has been downloaded over 500,000 times in 2009.

The Swiss press on iPhone

 In Switzerland, most of the press titles are present on the iPhone. Le Matin, for instance, offers an application that lets you view all the news shows on its website It offers the possibility to access a large gallery of images as well as TV programs of more than 30 channels. The application show also information from live sports. To learn more: site du Matin


The advent of the IPAD

The IPAD, put on the market by Apple in April 2010 seems to become even more convenient than the iPhone in terms of internet browsing and reading articles.

 A study of Nielsen shows that Ipad users spend more time reading magazines, books and get to the information than the iPhone users. Indeed, 56% of Ipad users spend 16 minutes to two hours daily to read information.




The Iphone is there a new way to access to information? This seems undeniable, however everything is very fast in technological innovation and the Ipad seems to be emerging to become too, a big competitor to the traditional press. It will certainly change too the way to access to the information.

 Yoann Schenker