Online News

What is online news?

The Internet and evolving digital platforms have changed the way in which Canadians access the news. Unlike traditional news sources, online platforms publish news around the clock and by the minute. New types of media, such as blogs, social media, and the comment/feedback sections of articles and posts, have made the Internet central to generating and disseminating news. There are notable differences between online news and print newspapers.

Online news

  1. Provides quick, efficient, and accurate reporting of breaking news in a matter of seconds, allowing for a synopsis or play-by-play of events as they occur;
  2. Opens up new ways of reporting, as the authors can include audio, video, and digital photography to enhance a story;
  3. Creates an opportunity for niche audiences, allowing people to have more options as to what to view and read;
  4. Offers users interactive components through the use of blogs, discussion forums, and feedback pages.

What are citizen journalists?

Online news is an open platform that allows for "citizen journalists” (public citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, and disseminating news and information). With this open platform, ethical and journalistic standards might not be adhered to, simply because the “journalist” is not aware of them. As a result, the lines between reputable reporting and opinion-based reporting may become blurred.

What has the impact of online news been on traditional print journalism?

With the increased availability of online news, traditional news sources have had to adapt. As a result of lower circulation numbers, some print media sources have chosen to eliminate their print versions entirely to create new, online brands that cater to the needs and preferences of their subscriber base. Most newspapers now offer readers modified versions of their print publications online. Despite the decrease in circulation, there continues to be an appetite among some readers to read the news in print format, making it unlikely that print news will be eliminated altogether in the near future.