The changing delivery of online news

The way we consume 'printed' news has changed forever - but what will happen next?

Page 1 of 2 next >>

The way we consume news has changed since the introduction of the internet. It is increasingly being published online rather than in print format, and more readers are reading it via their computers and mobile devices. Control of news content and how it's discovered and shared figure highly in the most recent changes in people's news consumption. For example, I personally don't read a physical newspaper any more and when I do pick up news articles from one primary source it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to read the whole edition of that online newspaper, or that I will ever read another article from that source again.

Four key questions that will determine the future of news

Bradford Cross, writing at, highlights that since the early days of the internet, news consumption has shifted direction - from portals such as AOL & Yahoo, to news search engines, then to social networks and now to dedicated mobile apps. More traditional news publishers are moving into the app market and are attracting users via their apps, but they are struggling to keep them as regular returning users, over social apps. Some have experimented by implementing social aspects/ features in their news discovery tools, but this has only had limited success. When trying to identify the direction that online news consumption might take Bradford Cross examines the following areas, without reaching any definite conclusions:

  • The shift away from traditional news publishers to social networks and product developers as sources of news.
  • The move to mobile, 24 hour a day, personalised news.
  • The need to make money.
  • Methods of content discovery, aggregation, organization and sharing.

Social media not a news saviour

Though Bradford Cross highlights that new players in the news market are taking a share of traditional news publishers audience, this article on takes a different line. It comments on recent research by Pew Research Center that shows news publishers and news organisations get the most engaged users direct on their own site, rather than via social media and search engine referrals. The research indicates that social networks do increase the number of people who view the news article, but it doesn't necessarily turn them into loyal readers, which suggests that the social networks and dedicate news sites reap different rewards when serving up news.

Facebook announces FB Newswire, a resource for journalists

Facebook has its own perspective on the market, recognising the value of their own platform as a discovery tool for breaking news and has introduced FB Newswire to cater for journalists. This service aggregates newsworthy content from status updates and also verifies the validity of the information. Having a verified newsfeed from such a popular social network means that journalists are able to aggregate relevant real time news stories as they happen. Here we return to the idea noted in the piece by Bradford Cross that social networks are key to the discovery of news stories.



Page 1 of 2 next >>