The Web's Campaign Contributions: News Sites May Have Offered Fewer Original Stories during the Primaries, but They're Now Flush with Multimedia Extras and Interactivity

By Palser, Barb | American Journalism Review, August-September 2004 | Go to article overview

The Web's Campaign Contributions: News Sites May Have Offered Fewer Original Stories during the Primaries, but They're Now Flush with Multimedia Extras and Interactivity


Palser, Barb, American Journalism Review


When the Project for Excellence in Journalism released "ePolitics", a review of early Internet coverage of the 2004 presidential campaign, the study's authors made an intriguing observation: Although more people are getting political news from the Internet than in previous election cycles, there may be fewer original political stories on the Web this year. During the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, 37 percent of stories on the main election pages of 10 major news sites were wire copy, up from 25 percent in 2000. Of the remaining stories, many were edited or enhanced wire copy rather than original, bylined work. (The sample group included three Web-only properties and seven sites with traditional media partners.)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Early-season analysis, according to PEJ, suggested that "political news web sites have clearly evolved but have also taken some steps backward," as evidenced by the shrinking percentage of bylined stories, fewer links to external sites and less audio or video of candidates. On a bad news/good news note; the study's authors suggested the preponderance of wire stories "means that, contrary to fears about the web as a source of unsubstantiated rumor and innuendo, the content here is carefully sourced and documented." (Gee, thanks.... I think.)

The PEJ's omnibus annual report on journalism, "The State of the News Media 2004," found that Web sites generally trail newspapers and TV when it comes to percentage of staff-generated stories--even if you count stories produced by traditional reporters in partner newsrooms. There are several explanations for this.

News sites rely on non-Web reporters when they have the option. For efficiency's sake, it's senseless to send two journalists to report a story if one can do the job. Efficiency's best friend, convergence, says we should report once and publish to many: Across all media, reporters do more repackaging of stories for other platforms than in the past.

The more controversial aspect of the PEJ study is the volume of wire stories on news sites. Speed is one good reason to use wires. It's common to post an Associated Press or Reuters article while in-house reporters start to work the story. Also, the Web's virtually limitless newshole means that wire stories can be added without cutting any bylined pieces--there's no tradeoff. Even Salon, a rare Web-only success, supplements original work with an ample helping of wire copy.

Simple necessity is another reason to post wire stories: In the era of shrinking staffs, small sites may have no choice but to switch to autopilot for routine news. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Web's Campaign Contributions: News Sites May Have Offered Fewer Original Stories during the Primaries, but They're Now Flush with Multimedia Extras and Interactivity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.