Friday, May 27, 2005

Increase in ad spending fuels new online news sites

[Keyword: ]. That's the upshot of this article from the American Journalism Review, which highlights a number of new companies venturing into online news - as well as recent trends in major news organisations buying into online operations like About.com and MarketWatch. The most useful point comes right at the end of the article, however, in these caveats:

"Jai Singh, editor in chief of CNET News, cautions that while it's easier to get into Web publishing, serious challenges await new entrants to the field. "The real cost is that to do good journalism, you've got to pay good wages to good reporters and editors," he says.

"Building a brand is not easy either, he says. "Can you be big enough to have the scale to compete with established news organizations? These things will have to be part of the business plan beyond the fact that the technology is cheaper and the ad market is strong," he says.

"According to Nolan, the key to success isn't simply getting your site up on the Web, it's getting people to read it. "The barrier to entry in this new business isn't getting published; anyone can do that. The barrier to entry is finding an audience," she wrote on the blog Pressthink.

"The new sites will have to market themselves intensely, either formally or by word-of-blog; spend money to optimize their sites (so they appear higher in search engine results); and stay current on publishing technology while keeping content fresh and accurate so that visitors will return. Those that do succeed may help online journalism fulfill some of its early promise by bringing a wide variety of fresh, independent voices to the Web."

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