Digitizing the News
Innovation in Online Newspapers
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Boczkowski traces daily newspapers' early consumer-oriented non-print publishing initiatives, from the now-forgotten videotex efforts of the 1980s to the rise of the World Wide Web in the mid- 1990s. He then examines the formative years of news on the Web during the second half of the 1990s, when the content of online newspapers varied from simple reproduction of the print edition to new material with interactive and multimedia features. With this picture of the recent history of non-print publishing as background, Boczkowski provides ethnographic, fly-on-the-wall accounts of three innovations in content creation: the Technology section of the New York Times on the Web, which was initially intended as the newspaper's space for experimentation with online news; the Virtual Voyager project of the HoustonChronicle.com, in which reporters pushed the envelope of multimedia journalism; and the Community Connection initiative of New Jersey Online, in which users became content producers. His analyses of these ventures reveal how innovation in online newspapers became an ongoing process in which different combinations of initial conditions and local contingencies led publishers along divergent paths of content creation.
Although approximately one million Americans operated ham radios in the course of the 20th century, very little has been written about this thriving technical culture in our midst. Kristen Haring offers a deeply sympathetic history of this under-appreciated technical community and their role in contributing to American advances in science and technology, especially the electronics industry. In the process she reveals how technical tinkering has defined manhood in the United States and has powerfully constituted 'technical identities' with often utopian, even, at times, revolutionary, notions about the social uses of technology. -- Susan Douglas, Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of Communication Studies, University of Michigan, and author of Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination Digitizing the News shows how dramatic innovations can unfold from the coevolution of social and technical choices made over several decades. Putting the news online is changing the production, editing, and consumption of news in ways that shape content in significant ways. How different enterprises have made these choices around the Internet and the news has created a variety of paths to the future of electronic news media. Students in the social sciences and humanities, particularly within communication and journalism, will value this book, which illustrates how research on new media can inform, and be informed by, social studies of science and technology. -- William H. Dutton, Director, Oxford Internet Institute Digitizing the News is a rich, nuanced account of the divergent ways that established print media reacted to new digital technologies. Reluctant to relinquish their gatekeeping role and the dominant logic of 'we publish, consumers read,' newspapers were slow to accommodate non-print forms of information delivery. Boczkowski shows how these decisions were shaped by both the politics of newsrooms and differing conceptions of the audience. This lively book deserves attention from students of technology and the medi