Birds of Belize

Here’s why online journalism has an advantage over hard copy. The NY Times has a wonderful interactive feature story on the birds of Belize. If this is the kind of thing that turns you on, and for me it does, then it illustrates what we’ve been writing about here–the differences between online journalism and hard copy, and why those differences give an advantage to the online form.

The Times story combines images, sounds and words to round out a visit to Belize. It talks about environmental concerns in addition to the experience of birding.Admittedly, this could be done by a non-profit website and it would be equally enjoyable. It seems to me it illustrates, however, the value of having the resources of a major organization behind you because these provide the backup for a well-produced interactive page and ensure wide distribution.

In addition to quality writing and production, the Times brand lends trustiworthiness to the story’s content. This is an unseen value-add that’s an asset in the online environment today. I’m predisposed to doing it anyway, but after reading the story I’m ready to pack my cameras and head to Belize. I can hear the macaws calling.

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