Simona Harms (M.A.)Skip to main contents







Online-Publishing: Communicating in Hypertext
(Thesis abstract)

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 considered.

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 presentation..

Simona Harms. Osnabrueck, Jan 2002


Prose fragment
Thesis abstract
Jam-packed Hollow

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