- As the world spunks: does internet help to transform youth journalism?
- Book title
- Young people, ICTs and democracy: theories, policies, identities, and websites
- Pages (from-to)
- Göteborg: Nordicom
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
In November 2003, the Dutch Press Fund awarded seed money of 50,000 euro to the website Spunk, an online magazine produced by and aimed at 15 to 19 year old youth, and consisting of news, discussion boards, reviews, columns, background, video and other ma¬terial. The Fund argued that Spunk was significantly different from other news media, that it enhanced the diversity of information and opinions, and that it provided an innovative contribution to online information. Moreover, the Fund said that Spunk diverged from other youth sites and magazines by offering young people’s perception on the news and society. The latter coincided well with Spunk’s own raison d’être: its founders were dissatisfied with the existing online and offline magazine offer for youth and wanted to make something that would better reflect current youth’s needs and interests, and that would be made by youth themselves.
The Spunk case seems to display how the internet provides simultaneous potential for top-down and bottom-up transformation of journalism. For the Dutch Press Fund, a governmental body set up to support pluralism and innovation in the Dutch press, subsidizing online news provisions is a key instrument for its aim to modernize print journalism. For young people dissatisfied with the prevailing news and magazine offer, the internet provides an opportunity to create and disseminate their own topics in their own style from their own viewpoints.
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