How newspaper reporters use the Web to gather news

How newspaper reporters use the Web to gather news

Garrison, Bruce

This study found journalists use government sites most often to retrieve information. Problems include difficulty with verification, unreliable information and lack of contact information.

Like other users at information-oriented businesses, news media uses of online technologies such as the World Wide Web and Internet have grown rapidly. At least one media critic has boldly labeled the Internet as the future for journalism.1 Another scholar argued that the roles and nature of work of journalists are changing with the introduction of new online technologies.2 Most professional news organizations had some form of Web or Internet presence at the beginning of this decade. While some news organizations use their sites for promotion, community relations or electronic commerce, many news organizations use the sites as extensions of their traditional news missions.3 Use of the Web as a newsgathering resource has also grown rapidly since public awareness and commercial use-including that by news organizations-of the Internet and Web began rapid expansion.4

New media-in the form of the Internet and the Web-have had a revolutionary impact on journalism.5 It is changing the role the journalist has served as an intermediary. It offers a broad range of new technologies with which to deliver messages and is creating its own form of journalism. The current technologies of new media make newsgathering and production more efficient, faster and cost-effective. These technologies also enhance producer creativity and encourage new approaches to old tasks.6 Internet2, the latest generation of network computing, is thought to have an even more significant impact on news reporting and content delivery.7

Most newspapers today use the Internet and Web in some manner to distribute news and other types of information. Approximately 4,900 online newspapers have been created throughout the world and about 3,600 of those are in the U.S.8 The content of online newspapers is maturing. Instead of their original duty of carrying the print edition content, many of these publications have developed their own personalities through original content and purpose.9 These publications give attention to accuracy as well as speed in reporting information.10 The newspapers’ sites have generated considerable traffic.11 Online journalism has been characterized as having three dimensions-interactivity, personalization and convergence.12

With newsroom use of the Web and the Internet approaching 100 percent penetration, it is important to fully understand how the Internet and the Web are used in news media newsrooms.13 The purpose of this study was to analyze Web usage through the study of daily newspaper journalists. The study focused on how news organizations used the Web to locate information, types of sites that were used, perceptions about the strengths and weaknesses of information found, Web-based technologies most often used and perceived advantages and disadvantages.

Theoretical Perspective

Theoretical perspectives and communication models integrating the use of interactive technologies are slow to emerge in journalism and mass communication literature. The newness of interactive networked information media must be viewed as a contributing factor.14 Diffusion theory and the uses and gratifications approach are the dominant theoretical paradigms for research focusing on new media.15 Some studies have viewed use of the Internet and the Web in the diffusion of innovation theory context, discussing the spread of use of the new technology innews organizations and in the general public.16 Because of its fluidity and rapid integration into many business and other work environments, few other models or theoretical contexts exist for study of the use of the Web. While diffusion research, the study of the introduction and spread of new technological innovations, has value in understanding the flow of information or new innovation through a system such as newsgathering, it does have limitations. Like information flow theory, diffusion theory is source, not end-user, dominated.17

Other theoretical perspectives are also problematic in their application to use of interactive online media. Uses and gratifications research, which studies the motivations for media exposure, how media are used and the rewards derived from that use, focuses on the receiver or user of a medium and his or her purposes for using it. Such a framework offers an approach or model at best and is not very theoretical.18 As Severin and Tankard observed, research literature does not reveal a deep foundation of uses and gratifications research aimed at understanding new technologies and active audiences. “Researchers have only begun to study the ways that cable television and other new media offering expanded user choices relate to the user’s pursuit of uses and gratifications,” they wrote.19 The literature on uses and gratifications of new technologies such as cellular telephones, computers, networked computers and other interactive media is evolving.20 Application of the Web and Internet in news organizations remains widely under-studied and weak in theory, but a first generation of literature about Internet and Web use in general21 as well as Internet and Web use by journalists22 has appeared. It remains, however, a goal of such scholarship to identify a suitable explanatory framework for analysis and study.

The Web as an Information Resource

Newsrooms are making a serious commitment to the use of computers and computer training in gathering news.23 Daily newspapers are using the Internet and Web to search for, and gather, information.24 Hundreds of Web search tools have been developed and have become available. In 2001 there were several hundred major search engines in use and that number was growing.25 Ross and Middleberg found that print and broadcast journalists most often used the Yahoo! search index and their favorite search engines were AltaVista and Netscape Search.26 Yahoo! and AltaVista were clearly dominant, another study found, suggesting that journalists like to use both the index approach and the key word search strategy in their online research.27

Web users are often frustrated by the sheer volume and complexity of finding authoritative information. The common reaction, is to give up and claim there is nothing on the Internet about the subject.28 Advanced search options are usually indicated by a hypertext link to a different page at the search site. Advanced options offer tools employing Boolean logic to combine user-defined key words. Other approaches of advanced searches include setting inclusive or exclusive dates, searching by domain names or categories using quantitative search parameters. Some search engines and indices permit truncated searches that produce results similar to search terms and proximity searches that find terms adjacent to search terms.

Not all search indices and engines are the same, of course. They often vary in the basic software they employ to search at the basic and advanced levels.29 Selection of a search tool has a significant impact in locating information.30 Paul and Williams listed selection of resources, site stability, currency, usability, searchability, listing and usage fees and link descriptions as indicators of quality search sites.31 The requirement of fees by some Web search sites has become a restrictive factor. With a growing number of sites that charge fees, individuals have greater access to information that was previously not on the Web or was very hard to find.32

Because search engines differ in the size of their databases, procedures used to develop the database, frequency that the databases are updated, search options, speed of response and even basic user interface, users must be aware that search outcomes vary widely.33 Successful searchers employ a variety of strategies.34 Bates attributed the accomplishments of experienced professional searchers to their curiosity, use of an iterative or repetitive process, personal expertise and knowledge, analytical abilities, background discussions with clients and a sense of when to end the search.35

Journalists may have difficulty, like other persons using the Web, in separating high quality information from that which is less valuable. This is due, one study found, to Web designers who seek to disguise information quality, to inadequate training of journalists using the Web, and in the verification processes involving online content. This may be significant because the study concluded that the Web would eventually become a substitute for other sources of information.36 In one analysis of online newsgathering problems, the leading concerns expressed by newspaper journalists were verification of information, unreliable information, badly sourced information, and lack of Web site credibility. Technical problems, such as download time or finding site addresses, were not perceived to be as severe.37

A wide range of new Web technologies has made gathering and delivering information challenging for even experienced online users. Interactivity through various features of Web sites is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of online journalism.38 Journalists can interact with readers and sources using electronic mail, video and audio conferencing, instant messaging, chat rooms and similar features.

Despite the new technologies available to enhance interactivity with audiences, critics have argued that newspapers are not using these new technologies to their full potential.39 Daily newspapers have not made necessary changes in the way they collect and distribute news.40 Some have said that newspapers are following the old model of presenting news every 24 hours instead providing continuous updates and that they are just creating “shovelware”-the term used to describe the process of taking the content of a print edition and reproducing it on a Web site.41 Experts have also argued that newspapers are not taking advantage of special features of the Web such as its interactivity, hypertext and multimedia.42 Dibean and Garrison found that most online newspapers have adopted Web technology innovations such as links to related information and consumer services such as searchable classified advertising. Emphasis seemed to be on electronic commerce, they concluded, perhaps at the expense of news content delivery.43

On the other hand, journalists were not using other Internet-related technologies as frequently as they used the Web. Evidence indicates that electronic mail has been commonly employed for communicating with sources and for gathering information.44 But other potential information retrieval resources on the Internet, such as file transfer protocol, telnet, “push” Web technology, audio and video-based conferencing, telephony and other multimedia features were used much less or very little.45

Journalists using the Web have expressed concern for the quality of sites when gathering information. One German study found that journalists sought well-structured sites with more information on content than graphics and sites that adequately attribute information.46 Journalists perceive success in using the Web when they find information they seek, especially when it has been a challenge to locate. They seek background information and what they consider to be “difficult-to-find” information using online resources. Journalists also believe extension of government coverage and success in finding sources were positive aspects of online research.47 Other studies of what makes useful Web content for journalists underline the value of local information.48 The most often perceived failure of online newsgathering determined in a recent story was that journalists did not take advantage of the potential of online research. A related complaint, lack of online access, was also cited. Lack of training and slow learning of online tools were found to be additional causes of online research frustration for journalists.49

Research Questions

The literature leads to the following research questions:


How do journalists find information on the World Wide Web? What search tools are in use? How are they used?


What type of content Web sites are most often used for gathering information for news stories?


What characteristics of Web sites used for gathering information are perceived by journalists to be strongest? Weakest?


What Web-based technologies do journalists use for gathering information?


What are the perceived successes and failures of use of the Web as a newsgathering tool?


Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to a census of daily newspapers with 20,000 or greater Sunday circulation in January-March 1997, January-March 1998, and January-March 1999.50 Because literature related to this project was found in industry or trade publications but was quite limited in journals, questionnaire items were developed from interviews with journalists and from group discussions at national conferences about investigative reporting, computer-assisted reporting and news research in addition to available literature. While most of the questions used each year were the same, some questions were added or deleted from individual instruments as changes in availability of tools or use of computers required.

The unit of analysis was the newspaper. Questionnaires were mailed with postage-paid return envelopes to the computer-assisted reporting supervisor, the managing editor, or the executive editor. When sent to a general editor, the letter asked recipients to forward the questionnaire to individuals most qualified to respond. This resulted in a respondent group of specialists that included investigative reporters, computer-assisted reporting specialists, news librarians, news researchers and editors. Respondents were asked to reply on behalf of the entire newsroom, indicating their perceptions of newsroom use. While a longitudinal design was used and consistency in individuals responding at a particular newspaper each year was sought, the same individual did not always respond because of turnover and changing responsibilities. Population sizes were 510 newspapers in 1997 and 504 newspapers in both 1998 and 1999. In each census, two follow-up mailings were used to enhance response. Response rates were n = 226 or 44.3 percent in 1997; n = 185 or 36.7 percent in 1998 and n = 176 or 34.9 percent in 1999.


Respondents to the three surveys were demographically diverse and provided circulation, respondent newsroom role and regional representativeness of the population studied. They represented a range of newspapers, from small to very large, within the defined population. Individual respondents were computer-assisted reporting specialists or supervisors, news researchers or editors-newsroom managers.

Most respondents described themselves as editors (24.0 percent in 1997, 28.6 percent in 1998 and 31.8 percent in 1999), but another large group consisted of computer-assisted reporting supervisors (26.7 percent in 1997, 24.3 percent in 1998 and 22.2 percent in 1999).

Some respondents, especially those at smaller dailies, held multiple roles. The mean and median newspaper circulation each year was consistent (mean = 100,431.0, median = 50,000 in 1997; mean = 108,385.7, median = 54,695 in 1998; and mean = 100,348.4, median = 55,000 in 1999).

Respondents were also geographically balanced (East = 19.5 percent, South = 34.1 percent, Midwest = 26.5 percent and West = 19.9 percent in 1997; East = 18.9 percent, South = 35.1 percent, Midwest = 27.0 percent and West = 18.9 percent in 1998; and East = 19.3 percent, South = 37.5 percent, Midwest = 26.1 percent and West = 17.0 percent in 1999).51

RQ1: How do journalists find information on the World Wide Web? What search tools are in use? How are they used?

Data indicate clear patterns of World Wide Web use by journalists. In 1998 and 1999 journalists preferred to use Yahoo! (62.2 percent and 68.2 percent) and AltaVista (65.9 percent and 61.4 percent) as their primary search resources. Other major search tools, such as Excite (22.7 percent and 26.7 percent), Netscape (18.4 percent and 22.7 percent), HotBot (18.4 percent and 22.2 percent) and InfoSeek (24.3 percent and 20.5 percent), were not as widely used and suggested limits to the range of search tools used. Table 1 data show that these respondents were somewhat sophisticated in their search for information. Respondents reported that they selected the search tool according to the type of search the site conducts, familiarity with the site, and the type of information that was needed. Advanced search options, offered on almost all major search sites, were used by nearly three-quarters of respondents-but only about one in six “always” used the option. About three in five “sometimes” used such options.

RQ2: What types of content Web sites are most often used for gathering information for news stories?

State and federal government sites dominated the categories of most-often used sites. Over the three-year period, state sites were most often used (23.9 percent, 24.4 percent and 20.5 percent in 1997, 1998 and 1999 respectively), but there was considerable dependence on data from the federal government’s Bureau of Census Web site (17.2 percent, 24.4 percent and 10.2 percent) or the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR site. State and local government sites included state, county and city public records sites, school system sites and elections sites. Newspaper sites, particularly those with searchable archives, were also in wide use by respondents. Furthermore, search sites were also often named as “favorite” sites. These included Yahoo!, AltaVista and Switchboard.

RQ3: What characteristics of Web sites used for gathering information are perceived by journalists to be strongest? Weakest?

Journalists evaluated Web sites and the information on the sites in much the same way they assessed other, more traditional, information such as faxes, mailed documents, or information obtained from personal interviews. This was evident in the data presented in Table 2. “Strong” Web sites in both 1998 and 1999 were those provided by reputable sources and those offering valid and accurate information. Web site functions, such as searchability and design that affords easy access to information, were also valued. “Weak” sites in both surveys had inaccurate information, bad or outdated links, lack of attribution and useless content. Identified problems included lack of verification, unreliable information and lack of contact information or sourcing. Journalists were less concerned about truthfulness and lack of speed in finding a site URL.

RQ4: What Web-based technologies do journalists use for gathering information?

Journalists did not take full advantage of technologies available for communication using the Internet. The main resources used were electronic mail (90.3 percent in 1998 and 86.9 percent in 1999) and file transfer protocol (51.4 percent and 52.8 percent), but other tools that could have been used were not. This is particularly true of other interactive tools such as bulletin boards (28.1 percent and 26.7 percent), audio streaming (8.1 percent and 6.8 percent), push technology (6.5 percent and 5.7 percent) and video and audio conferencing (3.7 percent and 5.1 percent).

RQ5: What are the perceived successes and failures of use of the Web as a newsgathering tool?

Despite lack of use of some interactive technology innovations on the Internet, data presented in Table 3 show that journalists believed the use of online resources have benefited their newsgathering. Online resources added depth and context, extended government coverage, assisted in locating sources and built background for news coverage. Even the reported “failures” showed a positive view of the Web as an information resource. Journalists most frequently lamented about not taking greater advantage of online resources that were available. They also noted lack of access to the Web, the need for more expertise and training and the inability to find information.


The literature has shown that the World Wide Web and Internet have become dominant newsgathering tools in a short period of time. While this study provides some additional evidence for understanding the uses of the Web and Internet by journalists, that understanding is limited when considering the social or psychological gratifications, if any, which are obtainedby users. For the most part, scholars still do not understand the impact of these changes on newsgathering and news distribution. This study placed primary focus on uses of the Web. It would seem to be particularly valuable to study the social, professional and psychological gratifications that are derived from the uses found in this study. This may be the next step and part of a research agenda for further investigation of Web use in news media newsrooms.

There is need for a strong theoretical perspective in which to frame this avenue of research. “[T]he uses and gratifications approach may have a chance to come into its own as we move into the information age and media users are confronted with more and more choices,” wrote Severin and Tankard.52 With the evidence found in this study, their suggestion has considerable merit.

Among private and public information resources that are online, there are no rivals to the Web. Because of this widespread use, it is essential to study how these resources have become part of the news reporting process. Strengths and weaknesses of the Web and Internet may become characteristic of the reporting itself. Data depicting how journalists use the Web suggest certain innovation adoption tendencies. Perhaps the most interesting finding is that information search habits are still evolving. The search strategies used by respondents to these surveys described a wide range of personal approaches. This suggests considerable experimentation and trial-and-error approaches during learning. The limited use of certain search tools also generates questions about the effect such practices have on news content. Not only are these approaches and strategies important to understand among professionals, there are implications for individuals who teach journalism students or offer continuous education and training to working professionals. There is a basic need to learn more about the online research process and how it impacts news content.

Use of government sites as leading sources of information underscores that news organizations were using the new technologies in old ways-simply to use existing credible sources of information faster and, perhaps, in a more comprehensive manner. There is little evidence offered here that these new technologies have brought new sources or perspectives of information used in news reporting, but more inquiry is needed in this area of online research as well.

Respondents indicated concern for traditional quality issues in newsgathering. When using interactive technologies for news reporting, respondents expressed concern for many of the same problems that might have been presented long before creation of the Web. While concern for reputation, accuracy, validity and other traditional characteristics of information sources are critical to a journalist’s success, they have little to do with the interactive technology of the Web. Only when the respondents addressed such factors as download time, site organization, finding URLs, access to downloadable data and searchability did they venture into the world of the technology and its performance characteristics. This is another item for an online news and online research agenda.

Since there are implications for use of the Web and Internet, it is necessary to look at content of these online resources in more detail than achieved by this study. Analysis of the differences of search procedures and content specialization by leading search tools certainly can have impact on reporting. There is a need, similarly, to evaluate the content of local, state and federal government Web sites. These sites are, in many cases, quite new. Assessments of the quality of information contained by the sites should study accuracy, thoroughness and currency of information, for example. Furthermore, study of how this content is integrated into news coverage will be helpful to understanding the entire process.

Some of the evidence in this study points to possible gratifications of the use of online research tools. Measures of successes and failures of use of online resources may be seen as indicators of professional satisfactions. They may not be the best measures, but it seems that use for these respondents brings with it better journalism in the form of more depth and context, deeper government coverage, improved sourcing and additional background. These gratifications are achieved at some expense, such as frustration with limited online resources, user abilities, search inefficiencies and search speed. This clearly needs further investigation with the specific goal of further understanding the gratifications-or the lack of them-involved.

The findings, although representing 1997 to 1999, have theoretical relevance despite the timeframe used. The data presented in this analysis will provide a baseline or benchmark for additional Web uses research. It would be quite useful, for example, to conduct similar national surveys of Web use in newsrooms at, perhaps, three-or five-year intervals to determine long-range uses and effects patterns in the next decade. It is also necessary to look more closely at reasons why journalists do not use advanced technologies for information gathering and communication on the Web. Is it a form of technophobia?53 Or is it a lack of gratification or satisfaction with results? Or something else? Why have journalists not become users of interactive, multi-media tools such as conferencing? Further study is necessary, especially looking at training and computer literacy issues. Finally, this study has provided only descriptive analysis of the perceived advantages and disadvantages of use of Web-based information gathering. As Jones noted, the Internet is “an engine for social change, one that has modified work habits, education, social relations generally, and, maybe most important, our hopes and dreams.”54 Scholars must take steps toward better understanding its impact on journalism.


1. Jon Katz “The Future is the Net,” Media Studies Journal 13, no. 2 (1999): 14-15.

2. Jane B. Singer “Online Journalists: Foundations for Research into Their Changing Roles,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 4, no. 1 (6 July 1999); Jane B. Singer, “The Metro Wide Web: How Newspapers’ Gatekeeping Role is Changing Online,” (paper presented at AEJMC, New Orleans, La., August 1999).

3. David Noack, “eBuy: Users of Newspaper Web Sites Open Their Cyberwallets,” Editor & Publisher 132, no. 28 (10 July 1999): 18-21.

4. Bruce Garrison, “Diffusion of a New Technology: On-line Research in Newspaper Newsrooms,” Convergence: The Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 6, no. 1 (2000): 84-105.

5. Mark Deuze, “Journalism and the Web: An Analysis of Skills and Standards in an Online Environment,” Gazette 61, no. 5 (1999): 373-390.

6. Serajul I. Bhuiyan, “Media in the New Millennium: Online Communications and the Transformation of Journalism,” (paper presented at the AEJMC, Denver, Colo., February 1999); John Pavlik, “New Media and News: Implications for the Future of Journalism,” New Media & Society 1, no. 1 (1999): 54-59.

7. Jennie L. Phipps, “Superfast Internet Access Will Change Reporting and Broadcasting,” Editor & Publisher, (July 1999): 28-34.

8. Eric Meyer, “An Unexpectedly Wider Web for the World’s Newspapers: More than 3,600 newspapers now publish on the Internet, but there are signs that the tide of growth may ebb,” American Journalism Review NewsLink, September 1998, (12 March 2000); Pavlik, “New Media and News: Implications for the Future of Journalism.”

9. Deuze, “Journalism and the Web”; Steven S. Ross and Don Middleberg, “Media in Cyberspace Study: 1997 Fourth Annual National Survey,” 1997, (15 January 1999).

10. Foo Yeuh Peng, Naphtali Irene Tham, and Hao Xiaoming, “Trends in Online Newspapers,” Newspaper Research Journal 20, no. 2 (1999): 52-63; Andrew Marlatt “Advice to Newspapers: Stop the Shoveling,” Internet World online edition, 1999, (26 July 1999); J.D. Lasica “Get It Fast, But Get It Right,” American Journalism Review NewsLink, 1998, (12 November 1998).

11. Joe Strupp, “Welcomed Visitors: E&P Study Shows Newspaper Web Sites Busier Than Ever, But Still Learning the Ropes,” Editor & Publisher 132, no. 27 (3 July 1999): 22-28.

12. Deuze, “Journalism and the Web: An Analysis of Skills.”

13. Ross and Middleberg, “Media in Cyberspace Study”; Garrison, “Diffusion of a New Technology.”

14. Timothy Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor (New York: HarperCollins, 1999), 79-80.

15. Louis Leung and Ran Wei, “More Than Just Talk on the Move: Uses and Gratifications of the Cellular Phone,” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 77, no. 2 (2000): 308-320.

16. Scott R. Maier, “Digital Diffusion in Newsrooms: The Uneven Advance of Computer-Assisted Reporting,” Newspaper Research Journal 21, no. 2 (2000): 95-110; Walter E. Niebauer Jr. et al.,” Computer Adoption Levels at Iowa Dailies and Weeklies,” Newspaper Research Journal 21, no. 2 (2000): 84-94; Garrison, “Diffusion of a New Technology: On-line Research in Newspaper Newsrooms.”

17. Stanley J. Baran and Dennis K. Davis, Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment, and Future, (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1995).

18. Werner J. Severin and James W. Tankard, Jr., Communication Theories: Origins, Methods, and Uses in the Mass Media, 4th ed. (New York: Longman, 1997).

19. Severin and Tankard, Jr., Communication Theories, 337.

20. Leung and Wei, “More Than Just Talk on the Move.”

21. John Pavlik, New Media Technology: Cultural and Commercial Perspectives (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1997); Steve Jones, “Studying the Net: Intricacies and Issues,” in Doing Internet Research: Critical Issues and Methods for Examining the Net, ed. Steve Jones, (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1999), 1-27; Culture of the Internet, ed. Sara Kiesler, (Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997).

22. Bruce Garrison, Computer-Assisted Reporting, 2nd ed. (Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998); Christopher Callahan, A Journalist’s Guide to the Internet: The Net as a Reporting Tool, 2nd ed. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2002).

23. Bruce Garrison, “The Role of Computers in Newsgathering” (paper presented at the AEJMC annual convention, New Orleans, La., August 1999).

24. Garrison, “Diffusion of a New Technology: On-line Research in Newspaper Newsrooms.”

25. Alfred Glossbrenner and Emily Glossbrenner, Search Engines for the World Wide Web, 3rd ed. (Berkeley, Calif.: Peachpit Press, 2001).

26. Ross and Middleberg, “Media in Cyberspace Study: 1997 Fourth Annual National Survey.”

27. Bruce Garrison, “Journalists’ Perceptions of Online Information-Gathering Problems,” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 77, no. 3 (2000): 500-14.

28. Glossbrenner and Glossbrenner, Search Engines.

29. Brian S. Brooks, Journalism in the Information Age: A Guide to Computers for Reporters and Editors (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1997).

30. Glossbrenner and Glossbrenner, Search Engines.

31. Nora Paul and Margot Williams, Great Scouts! CyberGuides for Subject Searching on the Web (Medford, N.J.: CyberAge Books, 1999).

32. Mary Ellen Bates, Super Searchers Do Business: The Online Secrets of Top Business Researchers (Medford, N.J.: CyberAge Books, 1999).

33. Rudolph Hock, The Extreme Searcher’s Guide to Web Search Strategies, (Medford, N.J.: CyberAge Books, 1999).

34. Jean Ward and Kathleen A. Hansen, Search Strategies in Mass Communication, 3rd ed. (New York: Longman, 1997).

35. Bates, Super Searchers Do Business.

36. Timothy Luge, “Usage Patterns and Information Needs of Journalists on the Internet: An Empirical Study at USUS-the Usually Useful Internet Guide for Journalists,” (master’s thesis, Institute for Communication Sciences, University of Munich, 1999).

37. Bruce Garrison, “Diffusion of a New Technology: On-line Research in Newspaper Newsrooms,” Convergence: The Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 6, no. 1 (2000): 84-105.

38. Brian L. Massey and Mark R. Levy, “Interactive’ Online Journalism at English-Language Web Newspapers in Asia: A Dependency-Theory Analysis,” (paper presented at AEJMC annual convention, New Orleans, La., August 1999).

39. Steve Outing, “Too Many Newspaper Web Sites Get Poor Grades,” Editor & Publisher Interactive, 2 February 1998, (10 January 1999).

40. J.D. Lasica, “Time to Freshen Up Online Newspapers,” American Journalism Review NewsLink, June 1997, (10 January 1999).

41. Wendall Cochran, “Searching for Right Mixture: On-line Newspapers Seek Own Identities to Compete with Ink-Stained Brethren,” Quill 83, no. 4 (1995): 36; Marlatt, “Advice to Newspapers: Stop the Shoveling.”

42. Cochran, “Searching for Right Mixture: On-line Newspapers Seek Own Identities to Compete with Ink-Stained Brethren”; Marlatt, “Advice to Newspapers: Stop the Shoveling.”

43. Wendy Dibean and Bruce Garrison, “How Six Online Newspapers Use Web Technologies,” Newspaper Research Journal 22, no. 2 (2001): 79-93.

44. Suzy Buckley, “E-mail Use by Newspaper Editors,” (paper presented to the Creativity and Consumption Conference, University of Luton, Luton, U.K., March 1999).

45. Garrison, “Diffusion of a New Technology.”

46. Luge, “Usage Patterns and Information Needs of Journalists on the Internet.”

47. Garrison, “Diffusion of a New Technology.”

48. Jennie L. Phipps, “Local is Everything on Newspaper Web Sites,” Editor & Publisher, 23 (July 1999): 26.

49. Garrison, “Diffusion of a New Technology.”

50. Ian E. Anderson, ed., Editor & Publisher International Year Book 1998 (New York: Editor & Publisher, 1998).

51. Respondent demographics and respondent newspaper demographics measured for the 1997, 1998, and 1999 surveys were similar to those of benchmark national studies of journalists in the past quarter century conducted by Johnstone, Slawski, and Bowman (John Wallace, Claire Johnstone, Edward J. Slawski, and William W. Bowman, The News People: A Sociological Portrait of American Journalists and Their Work [Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1976]) and Weaver and Wilhoit (David Weaver and G. Cleveland Wilhoit, The American Journalist in the 1990s [Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1996] and David Weaver & G. Cleveland Wilhoit, The American Journalist: A Portrait of U.S. News People and Their Work [Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986]).

52. Severin and Tankard, Communication Theories, 339.

53. Garrison, Computer-Assisted Reporting.

54. Jones, “Studying the Net,” 2.

Garrison is a professor in the School of Communication at the University of Miami.

Copyright Newspaper Research Journal, Department of Journalism, University of Memphis Summer 2003

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