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Facing growing competition from new forms of user-generated content like wikis and blogs, media companies now claim they will finally fulfill the promises of a “whole new journalism” on the Internet. This comparative content analysis of 10 online news media in five countries (United States, France, United Kingdom, Germany and Russia) is a “reality check” assessing whether these claims are true. Data on formal characteristics and content categories of 1603 full articles are used to identify national specifics as well as general trends in European and US online journalism. Looking at the overall findings of the study, one has to conclude that the promises of an interactive age of reporting are not fulfilled yet. Most of the websites analyzed revealed a lack of multi-media content, missing options of direct interaction with the journalists, a fairly standardized repertoire of article types, missing source/author attributions, and a general focus on domestic political news.

Keywords: comparative study; content analysis; online journalism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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