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As, historically, has been common with newly emergent media, the World Wide Web in the mid-1990s was greeted with a discourse of revolutionary impacts, premised on a technological logic of development. In the case of news, the Web was expected to drive a more democratic, transparent and accountable journalism. This article argues that the application of a strong historical perspective to scholarship on online news is necessary to gauge the depth of any changes from and the strength of continuity with print and broadcast news. It examines the historical development of mass media and of journalism in the context of industrial capitalism to trace the emergence of the ‘news ecology’ that permeates print, broadcast and, now, online media. It examines this through a sample of websites maintained by Irish national and local newspapers, and the country's public service broadcaster, between 1994 and 2010.
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Keywords: capitalism; ecology; institutional frameworks; news; online

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2012

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