Electronic News Content and Civic Journalism


History of Electronic media

Civic Journalism

Customized News

Future of Newspaper

Links to other journalism sites

December 16, 1996


Media content has been changing under the influence of technological advances. As Theodore Peterson (1981) pointed out, the technological revolution that occurred during the 1880s and 1890s revolutionized the mass media.

Electronic publishing consultant Bart Preecs cited, for instance, former NBC news president Larry Grossman that newspaper histories tell how the introduction of steam power presses in the 1830s and the growth of the telegraph in the 1850s changed the way news was gathered and distributed. Newspapers turned away from partisan influence and moved toward objectivity to appeal to large audiences.

According to Editor and Publisher's statistics, there are about 2,000 online newspapers stampeding on the Web. The number of daily newspapers online has tripled in a year, about 175 nowadays. Competition for online audiences becomes the focus of cyber journalism.

Some newspapers have introduced customized news services, which are designed to provide specific news and information with reference to customers' preferences. Some scholars suggest a return to civic journalism that news should be relevant to the community concern.

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By Dec. 13, 1996, the total Number of online newspapers currently in the Editor & Publisher Interactive's Online Newspaper Database is 1587, in which the United States has 812 online newspapers. Of this total, 119 are new sites since June 1, 1996.

Personal Collection
Links to other journalism-related sites


  • Peterson, Theodore (1981). Mass media and their environments: A journey into the past. in E. Abel (ed.). What's news. San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies. p.13-32.

  • Preecs, Bart. (1996). Can civic journalists and cyber journalists learn from each other?

  • Editor & Publisher's Online Newspaper Statistics

    Go to:

    History of Electronic media
    The Notion of Civic Journalism
    Customization of Online News
    Future of Newspaper
    Links to other journalism sites

    This paper is prepared by Shirley Yam.
    Yam is a graduate student in
    College of Journalism and Communications
    at University of Florida.