Whether Internet has fundamentally changed newspapers


Here is an interesting follow-up to last week’s discussion. An article notes how the expectation that the internet will democratize the nature of news and give room to alternative voices is not really being fulfilled. Instead, a study shows that the news agenda on online newspapers is narrowing; that many sites simply package news produced elsewhere; and that a few stories (war on Iraq and Presidential campaign) occupy 1/4 of total news.

Seems to suggest that online news sites are simply changing their model in peripheral ways (changing presentation of news by providing links to other sites, incorporating blogs and comments into websites etc) and they are ultimately catering to the demands of majority of readers. The power law distribution in the offline world appears to be replicated on the web. The article also notes that there is an another impact of accessing news online: it is increasing difficult for readers to find what they want without being distracted by ads.

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