Technology and the Changing Idea of News: 2001 U.S. Newspaper Content at the Maturity of Internet 1.0

Kevin G. Barnhurst


Continuing prior research on print news, a content analysis provides baseline data on Internet news for 2001. By that year, a point when most of the U.S. press had moved online, the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of stories continued the trends found previously. Stories grew longer and had more explanations of how and why. They emphasized more groups than individuals, and more individuals were officials or outside sources. The changes suggest that news after moving onto Web 1.0 continued its former trajectory, enhancing the professional authority of journalists. But once online, the newspapers began refocusing on local markets and on the idea of connecting events. News stories included many more events and linked them to others in history. And the locations of news stories moved closer to the places where people act as citizens, reversing a century-long trend.

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