EPUBs are an experimental feature, and may not work in all readers.

Abstract

This paper investigates cross-media publishing: the alternative publishing channels that can be exploited by newspaper organizations. It includes an analysis of the adoption of cross-media publishing by the top 10 US dailies as well as a discussion of the reasons for employing cross-media publishing and the degree of success of this endeavor. The results of the analysis indicate a moderate use of cross-media publishing in the US.

The print media industry has rapidly adopted information and communication technologies. Digital technologies had been a part of the daily newspaper world for many decades. Newspapers began setting type using computers in the early 1960s. By the early 1980s, most newspapers were using digital systems to set type in galleys, which were cut and pasted into pages, and then imaged. During the past two decades computer technology has revolutionized newspaper production work. Journalists and reporters today use computers and computerized editorial systems to write texts, process images, and report on news events (Sabelström 2000, 53). Today the world’s leading-edge newspapers are moving to complete digital page assembly and distribution, streamlining workflow processes while ensuring higher quality (Veglis 2005, 891).

But while information and communication technologies have revolutionized the workplaces and the workflow, the basic format of the medium has remained the same (Chisholm 2002, 53). For a long time, newspaper organizations were occupied only with the distribution of newspapers. As technology for the distribution of journalistic information in various forms has become more easily available, and with the Internet and the World Wide Web’s introduction into companies and households, the larger media organizations and companies have had more publication channels at their disposal (Sabelström 2000, 53). The Internet has proven to be neither the threat nor the opportunity some researchers claimed. In the last 11 years many newspapers have started using their Web sites to enhance their services and to expand their readership in print and digital form. Many believe that in time media companies will have completely altered forms and strategies. Reporters will be covering events with several possible publishing channels in mind. (Bartlett, 1994). And for some companies this time has come.

Definitions

Cross media is defined as any content (news, music, text, and images) published in multiple media (for example print, Web, and TV). The content is posted once and it is available on other media. “Multiple media” is another term widely used to specify the inter-platform or inter-device possibilities. Multiple media means that the same content is delivered to users in more than one medium. A medium can be defined as a means of mass communications (for example, newspapers, radio, or television) or, more precisely, a system in which transmission media are using more than one type of transmission path (e.g., optical fiber, radio, and copper wire) to deliver information. An alternative term for multiple media is multi-channel publishing, meaning that the same content is published on various channels or media. The term multiple media is broader than cross media, as it expands the concept from devices to content (Antikainen et al. 2004).

Cross media history

The term “cross media” was already used in the early days of electronic publishing. In the print world, cross-media was used to describe database publishing (ACTeN 2004). The first publishing segment to automate cross media was directory and reference publishing. When material was finally in a normalized database, creating new extracts and transformation routines for CD-ROM and eventually Web production was not radically different from what publishers had been doing for the previous two decades of database print publishing. In the late 1980s, new cross-media publishing systems emerged that were focused on “content-driven” publications: manuals, books, treatises, and other publications whose length is usually determined by the content, rather than trimmed to fit a predefined space (Walter 1999).

The print and publishing industries have incorporated cross media for a long time. One driver was efficiency, but in newspaper and magazine publishing cross media is used for marketing and market penetration as well. In book printing and publishing, cross media started out as media that were complementary to each other, such as a book and a CD-ROM. In magazine and newspaper publishing, cross media are used more extensively to bridge the time gap between publications by providing information on the Internet, and to create a community. In the most rudimentary form of cross media, the newspapers and the magazines had an electronic counterpart. They did not really add to the content of the magazine or the newspaper, but reproduced the content of the magazine or the newspaper (ACTeN 2004).

Literature Review

During the last decade an increasing number of newspaper companies began publishing electronic editions in addition to the printed editions of their newspapers. Newspapers turned to the Web for two reasons: to gather material and do research to write articles, and to provide a Web service like a digital newspaper (Eriksen 1997).

These developments in technology and the changes in the production of content in media have contributed to a change in the consumption of newspaper content. According to the World Association of Newspapers, on-line newspaper readership rose 350% during the first five years of the 21st century and the number of newspaper Web sites has doubled since 1999 (WAN 2005). The Internet and the information technology it encompasses have given media companies new possibilities, making newspapers more of a service than a product; the organizations now resemble “information engines” rather than printing organizations (Appelgren 2005).

Beginning in 1994 many U.S. newspapers enhanced their services with the help of online editions (Greer et al. 2004, 98). By 1997, 820 newspapers in the United States were being published on line (Levins 1997, 58). The latest data indicate that there were 1,520 online editions in United States at the end of 2004 (WAN 2005). As a result, newspaper readers have increased the total time they spend reading newspapers, cutting the readership of the paper version minimally while adding two to three times as much reading online (see Table 1).

Table 1
Media consumption (minutes per day*)
2001 2002 2003
Typical daily newspaper 28.2 27.0 25.0
Typical Sunday newspaper 64.1 73.1
Magazines 19.8
Radio 191.4
Television 191.3
Internet 32.4

Source: The Readership Institute, Impact Study

*for total adults 18+

Many believe that the increase in the use of the Internet will make online newspapers major players as news sources. As the daily use of the Internet has surpassed the daily use of newspapers, it has been widely assumed that the Internet is challenging the newspaper as a news medium (Stempel III et al. 2003, 113).

Initially the newspaper companies chose to publish content created for the paper edition on the Web, without re-editing (Kenney et al. 2000). Many newspapers are still in this stage. However, many soon realized that not all of their content was suitable for the Web. Studies indicated, for example, that long texts from the printed editions simply did not suit the new publishing channels (Sabelström 2001).

The online edition of a newspaper is only one of many publishing channels that provide information and entertainment. Today’s digital technology makes it possible to provide newspapers through a number of different channels. The current strategy used by newspaper companies involves convergence or multiple publishing. Enlund (1979), in discussing the workflow structure for creating content at a multiple-channel-publishing newspaper company in 1979, depicted the newspaper as an information center, an information bank for storage of content to be published. By using an information bank or central database, plus a central news desk for integrating the content packaging and production processes for the different publishing channels, newspaper companies have come closer to using the same production workflow for publishing in all channels.

Publishing channels

Newspaper publishers are increasingly distributing their editorial and advertising material over several delivery channels, primarily a combination of print and Internet (Sabelström et al. 1999). More specifically, they are re-purposing content from the printed editions in various secondary electronic editions, notably on the Web (Sabelström et al. 1997).

The channels reviewed include CD/DVD-ROM, Web, webcasting, PDA, TabletPC, e-mail, SMS, PDF, WAP, RSS, and Wi-Fi. These channels are the ways news is published in the United States beyond the traditional paper publication that has traditionally defined a newspaper. It is important to note that these channels do not represent different categories of technology but simply various methods for publishing news. These channels can be grouped according to various characteristics (static-changeable, interactive, non-interactive, etc.). We employ the concept of push versus pull orientation. A channel is defined as push oriented when “forced” upon the end user without a specific request from him. On the other hand a channel is pull oriented when the end user makes a deliberate action to access the information (Sabelström 2001). The majority of the channels under review can be categorized as pull channels. Only SMS, e-mail, and RSS can be characterized as push channels. But the concept of push and pull orientation is not black and white (Sabelström 2001). For example, in order to receive information via RSS the user must select a channel, or in order to receive breaking news via e-mail or SMS the user must supply the newspaper with his e-mail address or his cell phone number.

Print: The oldest and most widely used publication channel is print. Print is limited to a certain field of applications. For instance, printed products take a rather long time to produce. The process from planning the product until publication is long and, in many cases, complex. This makes topical information—information that changes quickly— less suited for print. Print offers the ability to communicate one-to-many, but not in real time. The possibility of communication between two individuals is limited to personal columns and classified advertisements, with no privacy (Sabelström 1998). Print has been facing competition from other information channels, such as radio and television, for half a century. During the last decade of the past century new competitors to print have emerged.

CD/DVD-ROM: CD and DVD ROMS are considered to be an alternative publishing channel best suited for reference information. The main advantage of this electronic medium over print is the functional capabilities it can include. Usually, information in CDs and DVDs is structured in a form of a database that offers searching functions (Enlund 1996, 25). With the right programming it is also possible to include short descriptions of items, metadata, that the search engine can use to find information, an option that is very restricted in print. The information can be presented as a multimedia presentation with text, images, animations, sound, video (Sabelström, 1998) and can even include links to web sources. Today many print publications are accompanied by a CD/DVD ROM. Although topical information is best suited for an on-line publishing channel, restrictions in bandwidth and the absence of reliable standardised pay systems still make publishers use CD/DVD-ROMs.

Web: The Web, or World Wide Web, can be described as a mixture of a CD/DVD-ROM and a broadcast medium. Its main advantage over other publishing channels is its ability to send information over great distances, and its potential for continuous updating (Negroponte 1995). Spreading information on the Web does not require any physical transportation, which is preferable from both an economic and an environmental point of view. Pull oriented-information is very suitable for publishing in a Web publishing channel (Sabelström 1998). Even topical information benefits from being published online, but the options for “pushing” information—sending it to subscribers—is still not very well developed. Push information requires a push publishing channel. Today a number of push technologies and push software are available on the Web, and one of them seems to have the potential to convert the publishing channel to push oriented publishing. This technology, RSS, is described later in this section.

Webcasting: The Internet technology that is most like traditional broadcast technology is streaming. Streaming allows a broadcast station to use the Internet as a secondary mode of transmission—webcasting (Ju-Yong Ha al. 2003, 155). By compressing the digital signal and enabling the user’s computer to decode and play the signal almost immediately, Web sites can provide video and audio content in quality similar to television and radio. The technology is almost ready for quality broadcasts over the Internet. Internet users can today view live or on-demand programs from more than 50 TV stations and networks (Ju-Yong Ha et al. 2003, 155). According to the Arbitron New Media study on Internet listening, released June 1999 at the Streaming Media East Conference in New York, 27% of all U.S. Internet users have listened to radio via the Web (Atwood 1999, 82).

PDA: In the last decade a new generation of electronic devices has emerged, PDAs (personal digital assistants). These devices are light and portable, and they include small screens that support true color. They also offer wireless connections through the mobile-phone network. Thus PDAs represent a mobile distribution channel that resembles the Web channel to some extent. However, because these devices have small screens and a limited storage capacity, publishers can provide only a small portion of the content from in their printed editions, typically headlines and abbreviated stories without graphics, typographic embellishment, or advertisements. Today many newspapers worldwide offer a PDA version of their publication. More people download the PDA version of the Wall Street Journal each day than log on to its Web site (Budde 2001).

TabletPC: Tablet PCs are pen-based portable computers that include a wireless connection to the Internet (Molina 1998; Fidler 1998). The screen orientation and the mobility (light weight, wireless connection) are the main advantages of the tablet PC when compared to other computers. Publishers tried distributing tablet PC versions of their newspapers that exploited the portrait format (that resembles the format of the paper edition). Thus readers of the paper edition could easily adapt to an online version that came very close to the paper edition, while retaining all (or most of) the features of the Web. In 2002 and 2003 Kent State University’s Institute for Cyberinformation worked with the Los Angeles Times and Adobe Systems Inc. to design a newspaper template specifically aimed at Tablet PC users. The Kent format was intended to allow newspapers to retain their brand identity while integrating the dynamics of the Web (Duran 2003), making them visually and typographically consistent from device to device (Wearden et al. 2001). They also afforded advertisers a more print-like environment where advertisements in a variety of sizes and shapes are juxtaposed on pages with editorial content. A newspaper edition designed for Tablet PCs was expected to combine the convenience and familiarity of a newspaper with the storage, searching, and communications of computer files (Rosenberg 2002). Unfortunately Tablet PCs were not successful. The devices were expensive and the publishers were reluctant to spend money on a new format (Duran 2003).

E-mail: E-mail is the oldest and one of the most widely used Internet services. When it was invented (more than 40 years ago) it included only simple text. Eventually e-mail was enriched and now it can include graphics and all kinds of files. There remain size limitations, but those limitations are based on the e-mail server and not the technology itself. Newspapers use e-mail to alert their readers about breaking news, relay the headlines of the main stories (with links to the entire articles included in an online version of the newspaper), or send them the entire edition in a PDF file (Schiff 2003).

SMS: SMS (short message service) or text messaging is a service offered by network providers that allows customers to send text messages over their mobile phones. Each message can contain up to 160 alphanumeric characters. About the only thing that differs from carrier to carrier is price and the kind of device a customer will use. SMS has been a staple of the information diet just about everywhere mobile phones have penetrated markets. Many newspaper worldwide use SMS to send their readers main headlines or to alert them about breaking news (Gilmor 2004).

PDF: PDF (portable document format) is a proprietary product of Adobe. PDF files are completely portable and platform-independent. They are also highly compressed, enabling rapid transmission over medium-bandwidth communication lines or easy distribution of many pages in CD/DVDs. PDF documents are searchable, an important capability especially after documents are archived. Many third-party tools allow PDF files to be searched for specific text strings. PDF even has features for interactive document use. Hyperlinks can be added to move from page to page with ease. That is the reason why many newspapers have used this format to deliver exact copies of their printed edition. Since many newspapers already use the PDF format in the post-production process, this alternative channel is very easily implemented with minimum cost (Avraam et al. 2005, 1523).

WAP: WAP (wireless application protocol) is a secure specification that allows users to access information instantly via handheld wireless devices such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smartphones (wireless telephone sets with special computer-enabled features), and communicators (Van der Heijden et al. 2000). Some newspapers are offering WAP editions that usually include the headlines and a short summary of each article.

RSS: RSS (the initials may stand for “really simple syndication” or another phrase—they have not been standardized) is a set of formats for pushing information on the Web. RSS automatically delivers selected data into the user's computer at prescribed intervals or based on some event (Käpylä et al. 1998). It ”feeds” (distributes or syndicates) news or other Web content from an online publisher to Web users.

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is a technology standard that allows mobile devices, such as laptop computers and PDAs, to connect to nearby wireless local area network access points. Newspapers have created “hotspots”—wireless local area access points—for downloading special versions of their printed editions, or users can find other public Wi-Fi sites, often in cafes.

Of course newspaper publishers continue to experiment with new approaches to the age-old problem of putting the story in front of the reader. In the digital world, some of these solutions imitate the printed edition’s layout, and others reflow all content into optimized layouts or build hybrids that try to keep the best of both methods (Edwards 2002).

Research Questions

Based on the above discussion about alternative publishing channels, the first question to ask is whether leading U.S. dailies are using them. If so, which ones? And why? Finally, are they achieving their goals in employing alternative publishing channels?

Method

A survey of the Web sites of U.S. dailies was conducted to identify the degree of adoption of alternative publishing channels. The survey was conducted on the 10th and 11th of April 2007. The sample included the top 10 U.S. dailies based on circulation. This selection was based on the assumption that the newspapers with the highest circulation are highly motivated to employ cross media publishing to preserve their leading position and also to attract new consumers through alternative delivery channels. Online news consumption was found to be positively associated with the use of traditional news: readers who read online also read on paper (Nguyen et al. 2006). The names of the selected U.S. dailies are included in table 2, along with their circulation data. The analysis included seven measures of publishing channels, each coded as present (1) or not present (0).

Table 2
Top ten dailies (2004)
Title Average daily circulation*
USA Today 2,310,000
The Wall Street Journal 2,107,000
The New York Times 1,121,000
Los Angeles Times** 902,000
New York Daily News 715,000
The Washington Post 708,000
New York Post 686,000
Chicago Tribune 601,000
Houston Chronicle** 555,000
San Francisco Chronicle 476,000

Source: NAA; ABC’s FAS-FAX circulation averages for the six months ending September 30, 2004

*Monday-Friday

**Monday-Saturday

Results

The analysis indicates that all top 10 U.S. dailies employ some kind of alternative publishing channel. It is worth noting that the newspapers with higher circulation tend to use more publishing channels. The two newspapers with the highest circulation use the highest number of alternative publishing channels.

All the dailies have online editions, and 9 out of 10 use e-mail to notify readers about headlines and allow users to receive news via RSS feed. Four newspapers offer a PDF version of their edition and 5 out of 10 newspapers offer the headlines for mobiles or PDA devices. Four newspapers allow the readers to listen to some of their news via webcasting, and send the headlines via SMS. Only one newspaper offers a Wi-Fi version of its edition. None of the newspapers (not even the LA Times) offers a TabletPC version of its edition.

Every one of the ten dailies surveyed has an online edition. It seems that the existence of a Web site is a prerequisite for employing other alternative publishing channels. It is the newspapers’ most common Internet service. E-mail is used extensively, but mainly for headline news and breaking news. RSS is equally used, nine of the ten dailies employ it. Some of the top 10 US dailies employ SMS and webcasting as alternative publishing channels. Webcasting is a new force in the Internet. Although its nature as a sound or video medium is not very close to the basic text content of the newspaper industry, four newspapers are using it. Webcasting seems to be a more suitable publishing channel for a radio or TV station (Kaitatzi et al. 2006). Finally all the dailies appear to reject the TabletPC publishing channel.

Use of the alternative publishing channels varies depending on the channel, but some basic reasons cover many types of publishing channels:

a) Additional material: One common complaint is that media do not put issues into proper context (Tenenbaum 1997, 2). Context is defined as coherent analysis that makes complex topics understandable; it is necessary in newspaper reporting because of competition from other media such as television and radio, which offer little context (McCleneghan 1997, 21). In addition, research has shown that readers learn more from articles with background and context included (Griffin et al. 1992, 84). The Web, with its unlimited space and hyperlinking ability, offers newspapers the potential to cover issues in more detail. This space advantage does not exist other publishing channels (perhaps with the exception of CD/DVD and e-mail), and it is quite inexpensive to produce larger editions.

b) Multimedia features: Multimedia features can add new dimensions in news. Maps, charts, animation, etc., can be employed in order to describe events and phenomena. Multimedia can be included in the Web, CD/DVD, PDF, and e-mail.

c) Interactive characteristics: Interactivity is usually closely associated with multimedia features. This characteristic allows newspapers to receive feedback from their readers. Thus newspapers are able to make corrections, additions, and other adaptations in order to better meet their readers’ needs.

d) Competition for new readers: The majority of the newspapers moved into cyberspace under fear and with little knowledge about the function and potential of the new medium (Spyridou et al. 2003). Yet, in order to remain important players in the media landscape, many newspapers set up early online services (Spyridou et al. 2006). A basic reason for employing alternative publishing channels is an attempt to reverse declining circulation by building a new base of readers, and especially of young and computer-savvy users (Spyridou et al. 2006). Surveys indicate that teenagers are slightly more likely than adults to access news online, and teenagers’ use of online news is growing (The Pew Internet and American Life Project). In 2005, 76% of teens got news online—up from 38% in 2000. This compares to 70% of those over 18 who got news online, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project (2006).

e) Advertising: Advertising on the Internet is increasing. According to data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, online ad sales were expected to surpass $12.5 billion for all of 2005. This number represents a 30% increase over the $9.6 billion recorded in 2004 (The State of The New Media 2006). Newspapers exploit Internet services in order to develop a new source of advertising revenue by basically offering the same product through a new channel and charging advertisers to participate. Furthermore, the Internet seemed a smart move to allow newspapers to protect their advertising base, particularly the classified ads (Spyridou et al. 2003).

f) Broadband connections: “Broadband” is a term for high-speed Internet and data connections. Research suggests broadband users are more likely than dial-up users to perform a number of online activities, including consuming news. What’s more, it is a strong possibility that the availability and ease of accessing video news clips and stories over broadband connections will prompt further growth in online news consumption; growing numbers of news organizations are offering the video feature. It is also possibile that as more private citizens contribute news content, either on formal news sites or on amateur sites and blogs, the menu of news will expand and attract new markets. Thus any increase in broadband adoption would logically include an increase in online news use as well (The State of The New Media 2006).

The State of New Media study produced several interesting facts. The number of people in the USA who used the Web was not growing as fast anymore, but the frequency with which people turned to the medium was increasing. It seems that the Web is becoming more a part of their daily lives. As far as newspapers are concerned, the percentage of Americans who get news online appears to have stabilized, but the ones who do are beginning to go to online news sites more often. Another interesting finding is that the use of newspaper Web sites in particular is growing, and there are various reasons researchers expect all those numbers to accelerate again (The State of The New Media 2006).

In 2005, approximately 70% of US Internet users had used the Internet for news, according to the Pew Internet project (The State of The New Media 2006). The main area of growth in 2005 seemed to be in regularity. Everyday use grew to 34% of users, up from 27% in 2004, according to the Pew Research Center (The Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2006). It seems that Americans’ reliance on the Internet for their daily news has doubled over the last few years. Survey research from Consumer Reports shows that 11% of adults in the US now get most of their news over the Web, up from just 5% in 2002. Thus, only slightly more people seem to be using the Web for news, but even more seem to be using it regularly (Consumer Reports WebWatch 2005).

There is some evidence that newspaper Web sites in particular are gaining. Two thirds (67%) of American adults said they read either local or national newspaper Web sites in late 2005, an increase of five percentage points from earlier in 2005 (The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press 2005a). This trend also has negative effects on the circulation of print editions. News consumption survey data from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press indicates that some consumers who go to the online version of the newspaper are abandoning the print version. According to these data, 35% of online newspaper readers say they are reading the print version “less often.”(Pew Research Center for the People and The Press 2005b).

Based on that, the Web is a strong alternative publishing channel. Many online newspapers are becoming stand-alone news products, rather than supplements or advertising vehicles for their print parents. But that creates its own set of issues.

For example, presentation of news content has changed dramatically. Frequent updates and headlines or news encapsulation on the first page allow readers to quickly scan and select stories (Greer et al. 2004, 98), but the majority of the online versions have significantly fewer photographs and maps. Some articles include enhanced interactive diagrams, but these enhancements do not appear in a large enough quantity to indicate that the context is being enhanced online (Randazzo et al. 2003, 120). None of the newspapers appears to be using the potential of the Internet consistently to add more context to their articles beyond the addition of links. Often, these links point to previous articles published by the same newspaper. References to research and historical context were equally likely to appear in both print and online versions because in virtually all cases the text appearing online was identical to what appeared in print. (Randazzo et al. 2003, 120).

On the other hand, multimedia use increased in the last few years, suggesting that presentation of these features may be accelerating. This trend may indicate that multimedia story telling could become more common on news sites in this decade, fueled by the increase in broadband connections (Greer et al. 2004, 98). Yet interactivity is lagging. Although interactive features are more common on the Web, the only real growth in interactivity was the addition of reporters’ e-mail addresses. Newspapers are still working to find interactive elements that function well in an online news environment (Greer et al. 2004, 98).

Of course the implementation of an alternative publishing channel is only one parameter that newspaper organizations must take into account. The quality of their implementation also plays an important role. The poor implementation of alternative publishing channels may have many causes. For example, online staffers feel they are on unequal footing with their print counterparts in daily newsroom negotiations (Lowrey 2003, 83). Nevertheless, large papers and papers with separate online staffs are more likely to produce original content for the online edition and to add interactive features such as discussion groups (Lowrey 2003, 83). Of course only major players can afford to have separate online staffs.

Organizational complexity is another major factor. An organization is more complex if it is larger in size and is owned by large, distant corporate owners (Demers 1998, 572). Larger, more complex organizations have more differentiated staffs, greater resources, and the ability to take financial risks, such as using cross media publishing.

Many of these problems are caused by the editorial process in newspapers. Workflows in traditional editorial departments have been set for decades. They include reporters and news editors that evaluate the news information, texts that are written, images that are shot by photographers, and graphics that are drawn. The complete pages are composed and sent for printing, bundling, and distribution. The news and information sources for the printed and the alternative editions are often the same, but since the collaboration between the different editorial departments is usually inadequate, the information is processed independently for nearly every publishing channel. The resulting work scheme results in a heavy workload and moderate outcome. In some newspaper companies photographers and reporters from different channels within the same company cover the same story or event as if they were competitors (Northrup 2001, 12). Some Swedish newspaper organizations have separated editorial departments, thus resulting in complicated editorial workflows because the departments work very much in parallel and the work is doubled or even tripled (Sabelström et al. 1999).

Conclusion

This study indicates that all 10 U.S. dailies studied employ alternative publishing channels. The Internet-based channels appear to be the most popular, because they can be easily implemented by the majority of the Internet users. Other publishing channels (not directly related to the Internet) have been implemented by some U.S. newspapers. To look at the results another way, the top 10 U.S. dailies have ample room for increasing their use of alternative publishing channels, given that some publishing channels were implemented only by 10-40% of the newspapers in this study. We must note that quality is an important issue. Future extension of this study must be focused on the quality of the alternative publishing channels being implemented by the top US dailies.

Of course the implementation of cross-media publishing depends heavily on readers’ responses, in other words on the news consumption. Projecting online news use is necessarily speculative. Still, most observers do see growth continuing, though more slowly now than before. Jupiter Research, one of the key forecasters of online economics and audience figures, predicts that by 2010 overall Internet penetration will reach 74%, up from 68% in 2005, or roughly a 1 % increase each year over the next four years. While this suggests more of a “maturation phase” than explosive growth, it still signifies growth. And the evidence suggests that as overall Internet use grows, so will using the Internet for news.

Adopting alternative publishing channels is not an easy task. We were not able to acquire actual data on the financial success of such endeavors, but we can examine other cases of alternative publishing. For example, last October Time Warner Inc announced its Internet strategy that concentrates on some of its titles, but Time Magazine was not one of them. This decision to concentrate on fewer titles illustrates how the accelerating shift of advertising from print to the Internet is forcing publishers to make tough calls in the scramble to expand their Web sites (Karnitschnig et al. 2006).


Andreas Veglis is an Associate Professor and head of the Media Informatics Lab in the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He received his B.Sc. in Physics, M.Sc. in Electronics and Communications, and Ph.D. in Computer Science, all from Aristotle University. His research interests include information technology in journalism, new media, course-support environments, and distance learning.

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