An abstract of a Dissertation Submitted to Nova Southeastern University

in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

 

The Future of Newspapers: A study of the World Wide Web and its

relationship to electronic publishing of newspapers.

by

Edward C. Lindoo

 

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects that the World Wide Web (Web) is having on newspaper publishing. With the development of the Web, more than 4,000 electronic publishers have created Web sites, and are now in competition, not only with each other, but also with traditional media such as newspaper, magazines, radio and television. Due to a variety of factors, including advertisers expanding into Web markets, newspaper publishers perceive this new competition to be not only the most immediate, but also the most serious, systemic, long-term threat to traditional newspaper publishing to date. Therefore, the goal of this dissertation was to study the development of electronic newspapers, to ascertain how newspapers are currently using the World Wide Web, to suggest how new technologies, such as the Web, might be used by newspaper companies in the future to keep their share of the information dissemination marketplace, and to draw conclusions as to the importance of the Web to newspapers, now, and in the future.

Millions of dollars have been spent by newspapers to get their product on the Web, and millions more will be spent to keep their presence on the Web. However, few publishers are making money on the Web, and some have ceased Web operations, almost as quickly as they started. Through the implementation of a survey, questions such as profitability, staffing, pricing, promotion, and subscriptions were answered. Ultimately, this information can be used by newspaper publishers to enhance their Web product as they move into the future.

The success of this project was based on the literature review, the results of the survey, and the final analysis, which has put into perspective where the electronic publishing industry is today, and what newspaper publishers need to do in the future to remain competitive, while maintaining their share of the market. Although the literature contained much hype about the Web, the final results of this paper show that the newspaper industry, as a whole, is not in as much danger as most publishers fear. And because most newspapers have created Web sites, they have positioned themselves well to fight off competition.

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