Taking the paper out of news

13 05 2009

Ditching print for online news only does not increase web traffic according to a lovely case study in Journalism Studies. Authors Neil Thurman and Merja Myllylahti show how a Finnish financial daily that went online-only to save money not only lost advertising revenue but also readers.

Thurman, N. and Myllylahti, M. (2009) Taking the Paper out of News. A case study of Taloussanomat, Europe’s first online-only newspaper. Journalism Studies (10) 5.


Using in-depth interviews, newsroom observation, and internal documents, this case study presents and analyses changes that have taken place at Finnish financial daily Taloussanomat since it stopped printing on 28 December 2007 to focus exclusively on digital delivery via the Web, email, and mobile. It reveals the savings that can be achieved when a newspaper no longer prints and distributes a physical product; but also the revenue lost from subscriptions and print advertising. The consequences of a newspaper’s decision to go online-only are examined as they relate to its business model, website traffic, and editorial practice. The findings illustrate the extent to which the medium rather than the content it carries determines news consumption patterns, show the differing attention a newspaper and its online substitute command, and reveal the changes to working patterns journalists can expect in the online-only environment.

Download: final version (subscription required) or preprint version (.pdf)

More coverage: The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal

[via Chuck @ The Seybold Report]




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