Online journalism is journalism more or less produced for the World Wide Web (unlike print, radio and
television journalism) .It exploits the unique characteristics of the Internet. A network of networks,
joining many government, university and private computers together and providing an infrastructure for
the use of E-mail, bulletin boards, file archives, hypertext documents, databases and other computational
resources The vast collection of computer networks which form and act as a single huge network for
transport of data and messages across distances which can be anywhere from the same office to anywhere
in the world.
First conceived by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States government in
1969.The ARPANet was a project funded primarily by U.S. military sources such as the Department of
Defense. Journalism is any non-fiction or documentary narrative that reports or analyzes facts and events
firmly rooted in time (either topical or historical) which are selected and arranged by reporters, writers,
and editors to tell a story from a particular point of view. Journalism has traditionally been published in
print, presented on film, and broadcast on television and radio. “Online” includes many venues. Most
prominent is the World Wide Web
Distinguishing characteristics of online journalism as compared to traditional journalism
Online = real time
Online journalism can be published in real time, updating breaking news and events as they happen.
Nothing new here — we’ve had this ability with telegraph, teletype, radio, and TV.
Online = shifted time
Online journalism also takes advantage of shifted time. Online publications can publish and archive
articles for viewing now or later, just as print, film, or broadcast publications can. WWW articles can be
infinitely easier to access, of course.
Online = multimedia
Online journalism can include multimedia elements: text and graphics (Newspapers and books), plus
sound, music, motion video, and animation (Broadcast radio, TV, film), 3D, etc.
Online = interactive
Online journalism is interactive. Hyperlinks represent the primary mechanism for this interactivity on the
Web, linking the various elements of a lengthy, complex work, introducing multiple points of view, and
adding depth and detail. A work of online journalism can consist of a hyperlinked set of web pages; these
pages can themselves include hyperlinks to other web sites. Traditional journalism guides the reader
through a linear narrative. The online journalist lets readers become participants, as they click their way
through a hyperlinked set of pages. Narrative momentum and a strong editorial voice pull a reader
through a linear narrative. With interactivity, the online journalist can pre- determine, to a certain extent,
the reader/participant’s progress through the material, but manifold navigation pathways, branching
options, and hyperlinks encourage the reader/participant to continue to explore various narrative threads
assembled by the reporter/writer/editor. A web of interlinked pages is also an ideal mechanism to give
reader/participants access to a library of source documents and background information that form the
foundation of an extensive journalistic investigation. Readers/participants can respond instantly to
material presented by the online journalist; this response can take several forms. Email to the reporter or
editor resembles the traditional letter to editor of print publications, but email letters can be published
much sooner online than in print. Online journalists can also take advantage of threaded discussions that
let readers respond immediately to an article, and to the comments of other readers, in a bulletin boardstyle discussion that can be accessed at any time. Readers can become participants in the ongoing cocreation of an editorial environment that evolves from the online journalist’s original reporting and the
initial article. Blogs (short for “Web log”, a Web-based journal) make this easy. Much of the journalism published on the Web and elsewhere online amounts to nothing more than
traditional magazine or newspaper articles and graphics, perhaps with some added links to related web
sites. By providing an instant, ubiquitous, cheap distribution medium, the Internet adds tremendous value
to such articles. Journalists are still experimenting and discovering how best to take advantage of
interactivity and hyper linking to create distinctive works that take advantage of the benefits of the online
Characteristics of online journalism
A news story is connected to other stories, archives, and resources and so on through hyperlinks
• Complexity of choice available
• Responsiveness to the user
• Facilitation of interpersonal communication
• Ease of adding information
It has to do with the media format or formats that may best convey given news story. Media are means of
Characteristics of the Internet
3. Beyond geography
4. Online community
5. Lower cost to participate in the public sphere
6. Lower threshold for self-expression of political opinions
Potential of the Internet
1. Active, participatory citizenship
2. Not only consumption but production
3. Undermines the centralized control of information
4. Reflects the range of views and ideas
5. Improve the level of civic engagement among younger generation
Limitations of the Internet
Inaccuracy: misrepresent and lie
Internet news audience is smaller than that of the traditional media Entertainment rather than political
“Digital divide”: a class system based on (a) computer ownership, (b) Internet access, and (c) computer
literacy that corresponds with social economic statuses
How digital journalism has changed the way we access the news?
The development of digital journalism has radically changed the way people access the news. The
introduction of the internet opened the way for the creation of an entirely new medium of journalism a
online journalism. Online journalism presents users with the unprecedented ability to chose when, where
and what news they will receive. The traditional news media of broadcast, print and radio all broadcast,
publish or air their bulletins at the time they chose, in the order they chose and to the depth they chose.
However, online journalism allows the user to access the news at any time from any computer or personal
device with an internet connection. Once connected, the user can select the stories they wish to view and
can easily access further information on the story if they so desire. Interactivity of Online Journalism
These developments have given the user an unprecedented amount of interactivity when accessing the
news. People have always interacted with the media however, interactivity is far more flexible in online
journalism (DeWold, 2001: 102). Users can sign up for an online newspaper and be regularly emailed
stories about their interests; online journalism also gives the user unprecedented possibilities in
responding to the story. After reading a story the user can email the journalist to tell them what they
though of the article, join a chat group to discuss the article or post a comment on a feedback page.
Construction of Online Journalism
Studies into how users digest content on online journalism sites show that users consume the story in a
completely different way to users of traditional journalism media. In the early stages of online journalism
many sites where attached to news outlets who simply posted their print story or the script of the radio
story onto the page. This proved to be ineffective as writing for the online world is vastly different from
writing for the printed page (DeWolk, 2001: 90). Author Martha Sammons pointed out in her Internet
Writer Book that people read off the computer screen thirty percent slower then they read off paper. Also,
people do not read carefully online, rather they scan. If they cannot quickly and easily find the
information they are after they promptly leave the site (DeWolk, 2001: 90).To complement this, online
journalism developed its own style of story construction. Presenting the story in chunks allows the reader
to quickly scan the story and single out the passages relevant to them (Ward, 2002: 148). Presenting
information in the form of bulleted lists, tables, graphs or other clear graphic elements allow the reader to
get the information they want quickly (DeWolk, 2001: 92). The writing towards the end of the page
should not conclude the story but rather should compel the user to link onto other pages connected to the
In broadcast, print and radio the story is presented to the user in a linear fashion. The journalist decides
how the story should be constructed and it is presented to the audience in the manner chosen by the
journalist. The user would then hear, read or view the story from start to finish giving the user the option
of either consuming it or not. To a certain extent, the journalist can try to guide the user through the story
but ultimately the result rests with the user (Millison, 2004). The hyper textual nature of online journalism
allows the user to read the parts of the story they wish to, link onto other pages within the site, play audio
grabs or view short video pieces. To encompass this, the journalist must construct the story to be nonlinear, allowing the user to be able to easily follow the story as they want to. Online journalism is the
place “where television, radio, and the new media forms of the internet collide” (Hall, 2001: 6). This
Convergence within Journalism is likely to change everything journalists think they understand
about mass media (DeWolk, 2003: 85)
Immediacy of Online Journalism
Immediacy has always been a fundamental element of journalism as the very nature of the new is that it is
new Broadcast and radio were traditionally the most immediate form of journalism as, should a major
story break, they could interrupt their programming with a bulletin. However, they are still constrained by
deadlines and cannot explore the story in too much depth (Gunter, 2003: 48). Print journalism allows
story depth but often the story is not reported until the morning after. Online journalism provides perhaps
the best arena for distributing news quickly (DeWolk, 2001: 51) as it presents the immediacy of broadcast
and radio with the depth of print. However, this has presented a problematic question for news
organizations that run both a traditional and online outlet whether or not to break a story on the online site
before broadcasting or publishing it. “In the one hand, the news organization wants to take advantage of
the incredible speed of the internet and be the one to break the story. On the other hand the organization
does not want to beat its own primary news vehicle and tell competitor what it has. The again, the
organization wants to use the web site as a promotion for its primary news product. But it does not want
to make it unnecessary for people to purchase the newspaper or to watch or listen to a broadcast because
they saw the story on the Web already.” (DeWolk, 2003: 172-3There are many advantages and disadvantages associated with advertising online. The first aspect of
advantages is the World Wide Web opens up new communication possibilities for personalized messages
to be delivered to targeted individuals (Davis 2000, 113). By positioning an [advertisement] on a website
which relates to the target markets specific interests, interest and further speculation should occur.
Advertising online enables target marketing, message tailoring, information access, sales potential,
creativity, exposure and speed. Secondly, online advertising has the capability to reach a global audience
at a fast rate. This enables extensive exposure and is an important characteristic of online advertising, and
a major component of why online advertising is so successful.
Thirdly, marketers undertaking new possibilities to perform traditional marketing strategies in electronic
environments push higher chances to create synergy. Janal (1995, 47) mentioned that the Internet offers
the best multimedia tools for presenting information, through the World Wide Web, a hypermedia
environment. It is as further explained that it is a place where marketers can present their information with
pictures, animation, sound and text. Indeed the power of Internet has impact on the multitude of
advertising formats. This can be seen from the numerous web tools such as banners, rich media, intertials,
and interactive broadband commercials as seen on the websites nowadays. These are the multiple forms
of online advertising tools used by advertisers over the time aiming towards developing exciting,
interactive, eye catching advertisements that can draw consumers’ attention, at the same time increasing
their brand or sales online. Strauss and Frost (1999, 202) states that the Net’s big strength is direct
response advertising where direct response leverages the Internet’s unique opportunity for two way
communication with consumers. Placing advertising in this environment will grants advertises unique
opportunity for in the element of interactivity. The interactive capabilities of ‘cyberads’ offer key
advantages for vendors to establish and maintain dialogues with customers (Janal 1995, 269).
The opportunities for creativity in online advertising are limitless. IAB (2005) on the other hand had
drafted out a very comprehensive set of 28 good reasons to use interactive advertising that places the
overview of interactive advertising advantages. In the list, it provides 28 points on a marketer’s potential
uses of the internet and corresponds with 28 ways of measure performance.
Even though there are many advantages for companies who advertise online, there are also some
disadvantages involved. Disadvantages of advertising online include: measurement problems, audience
characteristics, websnarl, clutter, potential for deception, costs, limited production quality, poor reach and
lack of Intrusiveness.
Online advertising is advertising carried out in the online environment. For example, via Web Sites,
email, ads supported software, etc. Though the vehicles have changed, (for example web space and
advergaming as opposed to magazine and outdoor advertising) many of the basic principles remain the
same as traditional advertising – organizations utilizing paid space to promote their businesses.
Online advertising is an important element of a business online marketing operations. Online advertising
is considered as non-personal information usually persuasive in nature about a product or service by an
identified sponsor, hence all paid space on the web or in an e-mail (Strauss, El-Ansary and Frost, 2003, p
367). Businesses clearly recognize that by advertising online they reach their target market in a fast and
an efficient way where they can interact with consumers; this is clearly indicated by the fact that
advertising spending is up to 12.6%  during the first part of 2005. In Australia alone, online
advertising expenditure rose by 64% in 2004 hitting a record high of $388 million (The audit Bureau of
Circulations). Online advertising can be divided into two categories: legitimate and illegitimate.
Legitimate advertising can be found in the form of advertising networks and opt-ine-mail advertising.
Illegitimate advertising is predominantly evident in spamming. Online advertising creates
innovative, comparatively low cost and highly targeted opportunities for the online advertisers/marketers. Types/Examples of Online Advertising
Types of online advertising and the vehicles, which it is displayed within, grow daily as technology
expands to create more opportunities. Some of them are intrusive and are usually labeled as spy ware or
aware. For example, Pop-up advertisements are designed to drive traffic to the sponsor’s website.
They usually occur when a new browser is opened. Initially, pop-ups were extremely effective due to the
surprise and novelty factor. However, constant and annoying pop-ups have left viewers jaded and
resentful, and have increased sales for pop-up blocking programs. Pop-under ads were developed
as a response to pop-ups perceived negativity. Pop-under work in a similar way to pop-ups, except
they appear behind the newly opened browser and so are only visible after the viewer closes the page.
Web banners or banner ads are advertisements that are embedded into web pages similar to the way
advertisers pay for space within a magazine. Web banners are designed to drive traffic to a website and
account for 54% of total online advertising revenue .Web banners and pop-ups can be the useful tools
for online advertisers; however new web browsers provide the web surfer with options to prevent pop-ups
and turn off images from selected (or all) websites. Beside that, similar to the protection of computer
against the virus here come the anti-spyware or anti-adware softwares, such as SpywareBlaster and
Lavasoft Ad- Aware.
Web Portal/Portal Site
Web portal or portal site is another way of online advertising. Through web portal there are more chances
to exploit the entire user by putting up web banners. Thus, the advertisers can target the user at one place
by choosing the relevant category provided in web portal. For example, Yahoo! have provided users with
search engines, email, chat rooms, instant messaging tools, etc., which are all free for registration, with
web banners or interactive broadband commercial included. Using this strategy can attract more users to
visit their website and use their product, at the same time increase the number of advertisers to advertise.
A more recent addition to the online advertising repertoire is weblogs or blogs. The full economic impact
blogs will have on businesses at the current time are immeasurable; it is obvious however that they hold
significant impact as they have had the power to generate awareness, burnish brands, direct online traffic
and alter the existing organic flow of traffic. But this has once given a chance to the spammers by adding
link to their commercial website in others’ blogs, which is called blog spam or link spam.
Interactive Broadband Commercial
Another type of online advertising that is rising in prominence is Interactive Broadband Commercials:
TV-like “video ad” units placed in the virtual marketplace, a highly targeted way to reach consumers.
Examples of content include (but are not limited to): streaming video, animation, online gaming,
and online music video content in a player environment. These ads can be put out in live, archived,
and downloadable streaming content. There are hundreds of other examples and types of online
advertising tools and techniques; increasingly the list is restricted only by a marketer’s imagination.
Capabilities of Online Advertising
“Customization is a website’s ability to present individualized content for each user (Mcgraw-hill, 2004,
p186). There are two different ways for a website to customize their site for users: personalization and
tailoring. Personalization allows the user to customize the personal preferences on the site. To be able to
give the specified preferences to the user each time they log on to the page, the website uses Log-in
registration and/or cookies ( Mcgraw-hill, 2004, p186).Tailoring is used by the site to publish a unique
version of the site to address the users specific interests, habits and needs (Mcgraw-hill, 2004, p187).Banner Advertisement – A graphical image, usually in the shape of a rectangle, used as an advertisement
on a Web site.
Pop Up – A type of advertisement that is automatically displayed in a second smaller browser window
upon loading or unloading a normal web page. Pop ups advertisements tend to cost advertisers more since
their visibility is higher but are often considered annoying by web site visitors since they are considered
Advertising is rapidly becoming the backbone of marketing. Different firms opt to different mediums of
advertising in accordance with the nature of a product. Today, Internet Advertising has become one of the
most up-to-date and fastest medium of making products popular. In 1990’s, Internet Advertising became
popular and the companies started building their websites. A website, ‘www.geocities.com’ gave birth to
a new form of advertising, offering a layman a chance to post his/her own homepage. Geocities placed a
banner at the top and/or bottom of every page that was displayed off of their server. This way, Geocities
got free advertising each time somebody was served a page from one of their member’s sites (as all sites
were hosted on Geocities hardware). This developed into the banner ad, now a common form of Internet
advertising found throughout the WWW. Electronic mail is another major form of Internet Advertising. A
few companies began to amass collections of personal e-mail addresses with the intention of selling those
lists to companies wishing to mass market those addresses. This form of advertising, also known as “spam
mailing”, is now predominantly used by adult sites and other small companies with little ability to use the
other two forms of Internet advertising stated above.
Advantages as an Advertising Medium
The Internet has the facility for individuals and organizations to communicate directly with one another
regardless of distance or time. Interactivity is one of the most prominent features of Internet advertising.
Some people mention that the Internet advertising enables marketers to communicate actively with their
target customers, and to solve problems immediately.
The Internet is, by definition, the international medium. Wherever Internet users are, even on a small
island in the Pacific Ocean, they can be online once they hook up with the Internet. This is one attractive
characteristic of the Internet as an advertising medium: the Internet can reach a worldwide audience
without asking advertisers to pay more.
The Internet reaches an audience long seen as attractive to advertisers. In terms of demographic
characteristics, they are higher-income, educated, upscale, young and managerial people (Hyland, 1998).
Advertisers can track how users interact with their brands and products, and get to know what is
interesting to their current and prospective customers. For example, a car manufacturer can track how a
user progresses through its site to determine whether more users are interested in the safety information or
the “extras” that come with a particular model.
For now, Internet advertising can be done relatively inexpensively. However, actual cost per thousand can
be high, compared with traditional media, so that an advertiser can get into Internet advertising for fewer
total dollars, yet actually spend more to reach each consumer.
From the consumer’s perspective, Internet advertising has the advantage of convenience. Consumers can
browse, order, and receive products without leaving home. Blog — (web LOG)
A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and
someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows
people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are
almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently.
Usually used as a marketing term to describe a Web site that is or is intended to be the first place people
see when using the Web. Typically a “Portal site” has a catalog of web sites, a search engine, or both. A
Portal site may also offer email and other service to entice people to use that site as their main “point of
entry” (hence “portal”) to the Web. Home page. Originally, the web page that your browser is set to use
when it starts up. The more common meaning refers to the main web page for a business, organization,
person or simply the main page out of a collection of web pages
• Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended
for general public consumption. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web site.
May or may not be interactive.
• Blogging (action), Blogger (person)
• Wiki – website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change
available content, and typically without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation
makes a wiki an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring.
Internet as a tool for journalist
Help for journalists
There are specialist sites for different types of reporting, like business or environment, or for specific
skills like copy editing/sub-editing. For information on wider journalism and media issues, try the
International Federation of Journalists, including authors’ rights, gender issues, and trade union matters,
the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, and Reporters Without Borders.
Wikipedia, the volunteer encyclopedia
Compilations of reference facilities abound on the web.Infoplease have a useful selection, including
almanacs for current information. One of the innovations of the web is the great co-operative
encyclopedia, Wikipedia, which now attracts 50m+ hits a day. Written by volunteers, it spans over
700,000 articles in English, with smaller quantities in dozens of other languages. Individuals can edit the
contributions, but their changes are monitored by teams of other volunteers, so there are controls over
what appears. A real plus is that entries can be updated in a matter of hours when something significant
changes. Traditional encyclopedias have migrated online and can be useful for general knowledge
queries, especially in fields where current events are not likely to outdate entries. Free offerings tend to be
smaller, or older, versions: Encyclopedia Britannica offers only limited results unless you buy a
subscription. Other possibilities include the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, with over 50,000 entries,
and Microsoft’s Encarta, through the free pass offered in MSN Search (their paid service covers some
60,000 articles). Yearbooks or almanacs may lack changes that have occurred since publication; it’s
another area where the net can keep ahead. The online version of the CIA World Fact book is updated
through the year. It offers a welter of facts and figures on the countries of the world, and is also
ProfNet provides links to thousands of news and information officers in the Americas, Europe and Africa,
and offers a searchable database of 16,000+ experts (mostly in the US, UK and Canada, it appears). They
operate for email queries on weekdays from 9am to 11pm, Greenwich Mean Time. Journalism Net has a
good round-up of sources for experts from various countries and different disciplines. Figures Statistics:
The UN is a central starting point. Go to the Statistics division – as well as social indicators for the
member countries, there are links to figures for trade, environment and much else. Go to the different
world bodies, like the World Bank or the Food and Agriculture Organization, for detail on specialist
areas. Via the home pages of the UN missions for each state, there are links to government information
for each country.
The UN’s Info Nation is a really straightforward site for creating charts of comparative data from groups
of countries. You can produce bar charts on anything from crime to tourism. As a way of providing an
instant customized illustration, for articles on subjects ranging from TV ownership to refugees, it’s worth
trying. CALCULATIONS: For everyday computations, use a search engine like Google. MONEY: Plenty
of search engines and portals will convert foreign currencies, but watch when little-traded currencies were
There seem to be shelves of dictionary sites. But given that Google provides word definitions, why bother
going elsewhere? AskOxford.com, based on the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, was probably the
There are no absolutes when it comes to writing styles: it is up to an organization to decide what is best
for its readers or listeners, in terms of grammar, spelling, names, titles etc. But if no-one is laying down
the rules for you, consult a manual from an established media concern. AP style is commonly used, not
only in the USA, but the AP Stylebook must be paid for – likewise the Reuters guide. There are several
UK guides offered freely over the web (downloadable in some cases):
The net should be a good place to find quotations – they can be easily indexed, and it is possible to put a
phrase or sentence into a search such as Google to find out who said it. There are plenty of sites for
quotations, but they are none too comprehensive, and are weak on recent quotes.
Machine translation is one of the boons of the net. While it used to be good enough to give only the gist
of the original text, it is increasingly reliable. Nevertheless, human intervention is still required to ensure
accuracy and make perfect sense. Typically, this translated passage can just about be understood, but
requires editing to be used in a news report Both Google and Yahoo! offer a ‘translate this page’ link
alongside search results in foreign languages. Google has improved its facility by a huge throughput of
translated documents from the UN and elsewhere – educating its own system. It has a ‘language tools’
button on its search page, offering to translate, between varieties of languages, either a text (which you
paste in) or a web page (write the URL). It provides 18 pairs of languages – a ‘pair’ would be English into
Chinese, or German to French.
Knowing the time in other countries can be important if you are trying to contact people, or check when
events happen. Time Zone Converter starts automatically with the time where you are, and you select the
place where you need the current time. An alternative approach from World Time Server lets you set a
time in one place, and then check the time somewhere else. To find a local map, writing the place name and ‘map’ into a search engine may produce better results than
using the leading map sites, which lack detailed coverage for many countries. Google Earth, with
downloadable software, offers the ability to swoop down from space, looking at ever more detailed
satellite images, and then searching for streets or post codes on the results.