Online news is an extremely complex and fast-changing field. What began as the simple provision of news using websites on the Internet has morphed into an environment of multiple digital platforms and products and numerous ways of accessing news content. The online news sector was born with the Internet, and its development has been both furious and messy. Like the Internet it is still an adolescent, and has a number of growth challenges it needs to master, not least finding a sustainable business model. Although online platforms offer exciting new ways to reach and connect with audiences, news providers are continuing to struggle to create effective and self-sustaining businesses on them. This means that creating a single theoretical architecture that accommodates and analyses recent developments in online news is not possible, or at least not without ignoring anomalies or over-simplifying categorizations. This chapter therefore adopts a narrative approach. At this stage, two eras in the development of online news are apparent, the ‘era of digital publishing’ and the ‘era of participation and multimedia’ (essentially Web 2.0). After discussing developments during these two eras, the chapter moves on to discuss the strategic, organizational and editorial implications of online news. It closes by drawing conclusions about the development of online news for the media industry, suggesting how the field.
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