Online journalism is reporting and other journalism produced or distributed via the Internet. The first breakthrough year was 1994, when Internet access started to become ubiquitous with the spread of dialup providers such as America Online and Prodigy.
An early leader in the newspaper field was The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., USA. Columbia University's journalism school was a leader in creating a new media curriculum concentrating in online journalism in 1995.
The New Century Network was a famous cooperative setup in 1997 by newspapers convinced that combining forces was necessary for Internet publishing. It was disbanded shortly after when the member papers decided going it alone was feasible and desirable.
Many news organizations based in other media also distribute news online. How much they take advantage of the medium varies. Some news organizations use the Web only or primarily.
The Internet challenges traditional news organizations in several ways. They may be losing classified ads to Web sites, which are often targeted by interest instead of geography. The advertising on news Web sites is sometimes insufficient to support the investment.
Even before the Internet, technology and perhaps other factors were dividing people's attention, leading to more but narrower media outlets.
Work outside traditional press
The Internet has also given rise to more participation by people who aren't normally journalists, such as with Indy Media.
Bloggers write on Web logs or blogs. Traditional journalists often do not consider bloggers to automatically be journalists. This has more to do with standards and professional practices than the medium. But as of 2005, blogging has generally gained at least more attention and has led to some effects on mainstream journalism, such as exposing problems related to a television piece about President Bush's National Guard Service.
The Internet also offers options such as personalized newsfeeds and aggregators such as Google News. As of March 2005, Wikinews rewrites articles from other news organization.
Some people see too much personalization as detrimental -- for example, that people will have narrower exposure.
- Mid-America Press Institute articles
- Online Journalism Review
- Online News Association
- Online Publishers Association
- Press Think article by Jay Rosen about changes at the News & Record, in Greensboro, N.C., USA.
- The Methods Reporter - Group blog by Medill School of Journalism students in Chicago
- Wikipedia article
- UNESCO guide to online journalism for journalists in the developing world
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