Digitizing the news : innovation in online newspapers /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Boczkowski, Pablo J.
Imprint:Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, ©2004.
Description:1 online resource (xi, 243 pages) : illustrations.
Series:Inside technology
Inside technology.
Subject:Electronic newspapers.
Electronic newspapers -- Technological innovations.
Electronic newspapers.
Electronic newspapers -- Technological innovations.
Electronic newspapers.
Electronic book.
Electronic books.
Format: E-Resource Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/11131376
Hidden Bibliographic Details
Digital file characteristics:data file
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (pages 211-237) and index.
Print version record.
Summary:In this study of how daily newspapers in America have developed electronic publishing ventures, Pablo Boczkowski shows that new media emerge not just in a burst of revolutionary technological change but by merging the structures and practices of existing media with newly available technical capabilities. His multi-disciplinary perspectives of science and technology, communication, and organization studies allow him to address the connections between technical, editorial, and work facets of new media. This approach yields analytical insights into the material culture of online newsrooms, the production processes of new media products, and the relationships between offline and online dynamics. 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.
Other form:Print version: Boczkowski, Pablo J. Digitizing the news. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, ©2004 0262025590
Review by Choice Review

Boczkowski (MIT) documents and assesses how US newspapers migrated to the Internet in the 1980s and 1990s. He provides an insiders' view of the creation of New Jersey Online; The New York Times's CyberTimes project, part of its Web site; and the Houston Chronicle's Virtual Voyager, an experiment in "interactive journalism." The three examples provide a spectrum for exploring how newspapers adapted to the Web. Although The New York Times grafted its traditional model of news coverage onto the Web, Boczkowski notes how the Houston Chronicle tried to partially reinvent news development. In contrast, the staff at New Jersey Online envisioned consumers as information producers and set up a site that maximized interactive participation. Boczkowski contends there are several predictors of newspaper innovation; these include internal newsroom dynamics and whether consumers are perceived as active or passive. Although he acknowledges his view differs from the technological-determinism perspective argued by some academics, the author adds credibility to his argument with well-documented field experience and an excellent review of the literature. This results in a book that is the most comprehensive, scholarly analysis of newspaper industry innovation since Anthony Smith's Goodbye, Gutenberg: The Newspaper Revolution of the 1980s (CH, Nov'80). ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Journalism collections, especially those supporting graduate programs. R. A. Logan emeritus, University of Missouri--Columbia

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review