Shadow

FULL SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2001 ARCHIVE

Virtual
Newspaper Arrives



Poynter’s Chip Scanlan points out
the pros and cons of The New York Times new Electronic Edition
,
a digital replica of the print paper now for sale. Among the
pros: It’s cheaper than the print edition, and downloads
automatically. Among the cons: You can’t save copies and it
expires after a week. From Chip’s fairly positive reaction, it
sounds like the new edition may win some converts.
Nevertheless, as long as the company gives most of its content
away for free at NYTimes.com — a site that’s continually
updated and designed for Web, not print users — most online
news readers will likely stick to that version.

Online Journalism Award Winners

The 2001 winners of the Online Journalism Awards were
announced at the Online News Association’s annual conference

check out the winners’ work
. The biggest winners were the
BBC and Slate, but it was heartening to see that some of the
best work was from smaller, lesser-known publications, such as
ThemeParkInsider.com
,

DigitalJournalist.org
and
360degrees.org
. ONA President Rich Jaroslovsky inspired
the gathering with
his opening remarks
, in which he pointed to Sept. 11 as a
landmark in online journalism. "We are no longer an
experiment," he said. ". . . We’ve begun to see where we fit
in in the journalistic landscape: More timely than print, more
in-depth than broadcast, more interactive than either. People
expect more from us now. They aren’t just intrigued by us ?
they NEED us." Well said.

Web Writers’ Mistakes
Roberta Beach Jacobson, editor of the e-zine Kafenio, shares
some of the mistakes — many humorous — that Web free-lancers
make and offers a few tips in an article for
CyberJournalist.net. Read her
piece and send in your own submissions
.

Anthrax in the
media

Cyberjournalist.net is keeping tracking of the various
cases of media workers and companies hit by anthrax.
Here’s the latest update
.

Multilingual News
The online version of Arab satellite news channel Al Jazeera,
www.aljazeera.net
, has seen traffic soar since
the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, like other news Web sites.
Perhaps most interesting, the majority of the traffic comes
from the United States, prompting the site to plan on
launching an English-language version within a year.
The Wall Street Journal Online has an interesting interview

with the site’s general manager in which he discusses the
struggle to remain objective. Meanwhile, MSNBC
has launched a news site in Arabic in cooperation with
Egyptian portal Good News 4 Me, at

www.gn4msnbc.com
. CNN is
planning a similar Arabic language venture,
as reported on CyberJournalist.net earlier
. And on a
related topic, Salon looks at
how the Internet helps those in the muslim world avoid
censorship
.


Frontiers of War

The New York Times has produced a wonderful
Flash photographer’s journal from Afghanistan
. The journal
is packed with compelling images, but what makes it extra
special is the narration by photographer Vincent Laforet, who
walks us through the streets of Afghanistan as we view his
powerful shots.

To Charge or
Not to Charge?

A new study by the New Media Federation and Borrell &
Associates looks at the various subscription services offered
by online newspapers, and suggests that it’s better to charge
for specific services or content than for general Web access.
The report, which is
only available
to New Media Federation and Newspaper
Association of America members, includes
a useful chart showing how 16 newspaper-affiliated sites
charge non-print subscribers to view content

New
Subscription Services

ABCNews.com and Slashdot.org have
announced plans to offer new subscription services.

ABCNews.com will now offer complete Webcasts of "World News
Tonight with Peter Jennings," "Nightline" with Ted Koppel and
Sam Donaldson’s "Live in America" radio show and enhanced
Webcast to viewers who become members of RealNetwork’s
GoldPass service, which costs $9.95 a month.
Slashdot will be adding new types of ads
and offering
subscriptions for people who want to turn them off. 

India News
Sites Hacked


Two of India’s leading news sites were hacked
by what
claim to be Pakistan-based groups. The hackers left messages
on Zeenews.com and India Today.com repeating comments made by
the Pakistani president warning India against launching raids
on Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

Home Alone
OJR’s Emmanuelle Richard writes about
how independent Web
publishers are thriving despite the closure of and cutbacks at
many larger news sites. (The piece includes a mention of
CyberJournalist.net.)


CyberJournalist Attack Roundup

CyberJournalist.net has compiled a
roundup
listing some of the best, most interesting online
journalism about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center and Pentagon; links to various archives of the online
coverage; and a list of stories analyzing the coverage. The
roundup will continue to be updated so keep checking back, and
send in your suggestions for work to be listed
.



Remains of the Day
The New York Times Magazine has, for the first time, printed
its entire issue on the Internet before it was
published on paper. The Times put together
a special issue made up of words written and images captured
in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack
.
Because of the timeliness of it, The Times opted to put it
online rather than wait. The printed counterpart will not be
available until Sept. 23. An amazing sign that a major news
organization really understands that it’s more important to
get the news out there than it is to "save" it for the paper.


Covering the Attacks Online

The World Trade Center attacks brought record traffic to
online news sites — in some cases 10 times or more than ever
before.
Editor & Publisher’s Wayne Robins
and
Poynter’s Steve Outing
both examine online news sites’
coverage of the tragedy, pointing out that most sites were
unprepared and forced to strip ads and graphics. Outing also
offers some useful tips on how to cover the aftermath online,
including creating clarifications areas and memorial pages. (Poynter
also offers a slew of other fantastic stories and resources on
how to cover the tragedy — a great example itself of how to
quickly put together a strong package for breaking news.)


Compare Online News Coverage

Comparing the coverage of various news organizations is
always a great exercise. For those who were too busy covering
the World Trade Center attack news to check out the
competition, Google has conveniently cached earlier stories by
CNN
,  the
The New York Times
and
The Washington Post
. Check them out and compare. (No
comment here on whether what Google did is legal.)
What do you think of the online news coverage you saw?

CNET: Five Years Online
CNET’s Editor in Chief Jai Singh reflects
upon the
five-year anniversary of his site, one of the first
online-only news publications, and on the state of Internet
journalism in general. He recalls Walter Cronkite saying in
1997 that major news sites will dominate news on the Net — a
statement that turned out to be largely true. "The early
promise that anyone with the will and desire to be a publisher
could publish–because there were virtually no barriers to
entry–didn’t quite pan out," Singh says. "It turned out that
entering the field was easy, but staying the course was not.
Sure, the likes of Salon.com continue the struggle as
new-media organizations, but the effort is as much about
survival as it is about journalism. And of course there are
the ‘bloggers’ who continue to disseminate news and
information to their small but faithful audiences."

Belo Abandons CueCat


Belo has stopped using the CueCat technology
to try to
steer readers to its Web sites. For the past year the company
had been running bar codes with stories in The Dallas
Morning News, The Providence Journal
and The
Press-Enterprise
in Riverside, Calif. Readers were given
free scanners connected to their computers, and when they
scanned the bar codes a relevant Web page or ad would pop up.
But the technology proved cumbersome and impractical, as few
people surf while reading the newspaper. It was a clever idea,
but one doomed to failure all along.



Bye-Bye Stock Listings

Has the Internet made stock listings irrelevant to newspapers?
The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. thinks so.
It plans to stop running daily stock listings
. It’s the
first major metro newspaper to do so, and probably not the
last. "We think we can provide much more useful information
than stock prices," Business Editor David Allen said. "People
are not getting their stock quotes from the newspaper. They get
them from online sources." With newsprint costs high and
newsholes at a premium, he’s right: wasting several pages on
outdated quotes is foolish, especially since people who aren’t
online can use the newspapers telephone hotline. Other
publications should take notice.

CUD Take Two
Several months ago
CyberJournalist.net reported on
a one-page themed
interactive magazine on ABCNEWS.com called
CUD
. The experiment has since been rebranded "TakeTwo."
The project’s producer, Erik Olsen, tells Content-Exchange’s
Ethan Casey that "the
idea is to keep text to a minimum and approach a topic with an
eye to being provocative, but not preachy
." He also wisely
says that online publishers "have a long way to go to really
harness what the Web can do for news and journalistic
content." Very true, but experimenting with concepts such as
"Take Two" — even if in this case the result is a little
rough — is how you get there.

Internet SuperSearching
for Journalists
Here’s
a look at how to make the best use
of the
CyberJournalist SuperSearch
, published on Poynter.org.



CNN Goes Arabic

CNN will launch an will launch an Arabic-language Web site,
CNNArabic.com, to reach the more than 3.5 million
Arabic-speaking Internet users in the Middle East. "If we’re
going to blast the business forward we need to get more into
local languages,"
said Chris Cramer, president of CNN International Networks
.
"I see this as the biggest language venture overseas since the
brand began." Arabic will become CNN’s seventh local-language
Web site, the others are in Italian, German, Spanish,
Portuguese, Danish and Japanese. Expansion into other
languages will become increasingly important in the next few
years as the number of non-English-speaking Web users is
expected to surpass the number of English-speaking ones over
the next five years.

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