Newspapers Experiment Online: Story Content after a Decade on the Web
Barnhurst, Kevin G
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Mainstream US newspapers since the 1890s moved away from event-centered news of local persons and places and toward interpretative news of more distant issues, a trend called the new long journalism that continued when the press moved online. By the mid-2000s social media and web interactivity were common, and print news had not yet entered the profitability and jobs crisis-to-come. A study in 2005 replicates and extends the baseline measures of online news content. The long journalism trends continued for politics, a core topic in serving the public, and for NYTimes.com, a leader in the media and innovator online. But for breaking news topics such as accidents and for less prominent news outlets, online content moved toward shorter, less analytical coverage linked to individuals, other current happenings, and an especially local focus. The results show how journalists were experimenting at a key moment in the development of online news.