Case study format
Basic format of case study: Executive summary Â½ page History (maximum 1 page single-spaced) Business model (maximum 1 page) Editorial model (maximum 1page) Success stories/failure stories (specific impact of impact â maximum 1 page) Technological model (maximum 1 page) Questionnaire on website analysis filled out and attached at the end.
Questions to answer: Introduction - Date founded, who founded it? Is the founder still involved? - Is it legally registered? as what? (LLC, nonprofit, etc.?) - How many full time paid staff, part time/ paid staff and part time/paid volunteers? - How many more or less regular staff members? Paid or not paid? - Who is the target audience from their point of view? And what do they know about the size of it? - Who they want reading it? D0 they have an idea of what the potential is? (Use Google Analytics for info)
Audience and perception of use What roles
History section â Why it was created, how? How many people were involved? What were the original hopes and expectations? How has it been working out for them? Grants or outside funding/ key events/ marketing/ ads. What was the mission? Has the business model changed? Big technological changes/adaptations that made a difference to them.
Business model - original goals in terms of sustaining the site/how are they feeling about their goals/what has surprised them? supply side, demand side/ advertising side? Problems getting content to sustain the site in a viable way? Problems getting readers, if selling ads? What failures or successesful attempts have been made? Organizational relationships (example police department for crime feed, etc.)?
Editorial model â have they ever had serious problems with offensive behavior online? Inaccurate information posted? Ever been threatened/harassed or experienced any legal threats? Editorial policy - how was it developed and are they happy with it? Do they train citizens? Do they have any affiliation with other media? Organizational relationships? Reporting themes â what is their ideal perceived balance for categorization for themes and sources? How do they achieve it?
Technological issues/ breadth â what content management system are they using/have they ever used before? Is it working for them? Any other technical issues theyâve had? Technical issues with providers? Spammed or hacked? Crashing at all? Has it ever taken up more energy than it should?
Questionnaire â a standard questionnaire for the number of features being used by a website (Final version to be agreed on).
Ideas for further analysis:
-Does the site incorporate principles and techniques of traditional media? i.e. balance, fairness, attribution, verification, transparency, disclosure
-Can anyone contribute articles, or is there a hierarchy of paid editors, staff, etc?
-Do editors and contributors have backgrounds in journalism or business, advertising, politics, etc.?
-How frequently do they link to or cite mainstream media? Is their attitude toward mainstream oppositional or collaborative?
-More social media or participatory journalism?
-Is the siteâs raison-dâetre news or profit?
-How do non-profit and commercial sites differ in all of the above?