I'd like to do a few blog posts about ESPN.com's use of convergence in their "Headlines," so here is the first of (what I hope will be) several discussions on convergence in ESPN.com's news.
I've picked an article about the Dallas Mavericks today, and there are a lot of features in this case that contribute to telling a story about the Mavs. There's a written article, of course, and in this case, it talks a lot about Mark Cuban's being discontent with the performances of at least some NBA referees.
The article also says the Mavericks' lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder last night.
There are also links to four videos right on top of the written article. Not a single one that I watched** had any mention of Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks. That's good, because the videos give new information instead of going over the same stuff that's in the written article.
For example, in the "Mavs Pick and Roll," Ben Rogers' and Skin Wade's respective beliefs on who the Dallas Mavericks' biggest rival is is among the topics of conversation.
Then, the text of the article wraps around a podcast in which ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon interviews Cuban. Although some of the information contained within the podcast expands on what was included in the written article, much of it isn't new.
Also, some of the audio in the podcast, which does not include a visual element in this case, is inaudible. In fact, none of the audio in the cast is what you could call "clean."
Then there's still more content: a link to ESPN reporter Jean-Jacques Taylor's written arguments about the Mavs, a link to a page on which ESPN fans can vote on various issues related to the Dallas basketball club and their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, a link to a blog on the Mavericks, and a link to ESPN Dallas website.
So overall, I think I'd give ESPN.com a "B+" for their use of convergence in this case. They have lots of features, most of which add to the overall story of Mark Cuban complaining and the Mavericks losing. The biggest knock on their convergence in this case is they podcast, because it repeats information and isn't fantastic in terms of audio.
**Just a note: In a show of how fast-paced the world of news is, ESPN changed one of the four videos above the written article before I finished this post. Though I didn't get a chance to watch it, the title of the link suggests it's at least related to the Dallas Mavericks and some of the stuff that appeared in the written article.