Published on
April 18, 2002

Analysis of Online Media



Home Page

The Wall Street
Journal ONLINE

USA Today

The New York Times
on The Web




Julie Bacon


Since 1690 newspapers have been published in America. Newspapers constitute one of the country's most important primary research resources for the study of American history and culture. For the professional historian, they are an indispensable source for the reconstruction of state, local or national history. For the sociologist or economist, newspapers contain information on changes in population, social heritage, political outlook and the economic climate of a region. For the student of local history, they are often the only research source available. For the genealogist researching family histories, newspapers are a primary source for locating marital information, birthday and death dates.

Due to lack of means, funds and technology, libraries failed to be able to efficiently house newspapers and other periodicals, valuable as they are. However, through the developments of the Internet over the past decade, nearly every periodical has managed to launch an Online campaign, which solves much of the archival problem. Obviously, some publications are more at home with the possibilities of the electronic transition than others. For example, the number one daily paper in the Nation, which has been in publication for 113 years, may have mastered the print world, but still falls short of the high mark on the Online scale.

This being the case, I carefully examined the histories and Web versions of the top three daily newspapers in the United States, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The New York Times, respectively. Among some of the aspects taken into account were the layouts, navigability, advertisements, multimedia usage, and unique look.Blah Blah

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©Julie Bacon 2002