While the world wide web is commonly expected to radically change both the form and function of journalism,
recent empirical studies indicate that online journalists only reluctantly exploit the communicative potential of the new consumer medium.
In this thesis the author presents results from three case studies of contemporary online publications: The Atlantic Online,
The International Herald Tribune (IHT) Online, and Salon.
The study considers the continuities and discontinuities between print and web publishing and provides an explorative and
comparative content analysis of the respective print and web editions. To facilitate such a comparison the author distinguishes
between 'editorial' and 'functional' content categories and examines the ratio of corresponding content types (e.g. politics, business,
interaction, navigation). Selected aspects of web-suitable presentation and usability (e.g. links, multimedia applications) are also
Due to the small sample size the findings are not representative of media web sites as a whole. Nonetheless, three distinct
approaches to web publishing emerge. The selection of contemporary general interest publications with a circulation between
200,000 and 1 million provides additional insight into the difficulties of formulating a web-identity within this circulation range.
The results indicate that The Atlantic Online, The International Herald Tribune (IHT) Online, and Salon successfully utilize
the world wide web as a communication medium, without fully exploiting its communication infrastructure or new forms of journalistic
Simona Harms. Osnabrueck, Jan 2002