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Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers
Unformatted Document Text:  Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers 16 and those of Schultz’s in 1999. Newspapers of larger size most likely could afford the high fixed first copy costs in setting up interactive Web sites. The costs of the first interactive copy online are higher than the print papers. Since newspapers have increasingly been viewed by advertisers as a medium to reach mass audience rather than segmented audience (Picard, 1998), obviously, larger dailies are in an advantageous position to satisfy advertisers’ needs of reaching the mass audiences. A disproportionate amount of advertising went to the leading papers (Picard, 1988). The greater financial recourses and advertising revenues for larger papers enabled them not only to invest more in staff and in-depth coverage (Lacy & Bernstein, 1988), but also to establish more interactive Web sites. Deborah (1993) argued that the critical mass for interactive services should be reached in a number of larger cities in five years. The result of H2 is in line with the argument. The average length of Web presence is 4.8 years. The newspapers that established their Web existence for more than five years achieved higher level of interactivity. The length of Web presence offered the newspapers a gradual process to build interactivity and gain experience in utilizing the ever-changing new technology. Earlier studies revealed that newspapers offered only illusions of interactivity on the Web (Lasica, 1996). In the late 90s, the efforts to be more interactive are obvious. Email has been widely accepted by online newspapers as a way for readers to contact the newsroom and even individual editors or reporters (Schultz, 1999). Newspapers incorporated highly interactive features with database and provide lively forums for online discussion. The adoption of new technology in newspaper production in the last decade resulted in more technicians needed to operate and service new equipment (Picard, 1998).

Authors: Qian, Zeng. and Li, Xigen.
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Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers
16
and those of Schultz’s in 1999. Newspapers of larger size most likely could afford the
high fixed first copy costs in setting up interactive Web sites. The costs of the first
interactive copy online are higher than the print papers. Since newspapers have
increasingly been viewed by advertisers as a medium to reach mass audience rather than
segmented audience (Picard, 1998), obviously, larger dailies are in an advantageous
position to satisfy advertisers’ needs of reaching the mass audiences. A disproportionate
amount of advertising went to the leading papers (Picard, 1988). The greater financial
recourses and advertising revenues for larger papers enabled them not only to invest more
in staff and in-depth coverage (Lacy & Bernstein, 1988), but also to establish more
interactive Web sites.
Deborah (1993) argued that the critical mass for interactive services should be
reached in a number of larger cities in five years. The result of H2 is in line with the
argument. The average length of Web presence is 4.8 years. The newspapers that
established their Web existence for more than five years achieved higher level of
interactivity. The length of Web presence offered the newspapers a gradual process to
build interactivity and gain experience in utilizing the ever-changing new technology.
Earlier studies revealed that newspapers offered only illusions of interactivity on the Web
(Lasica, 1996). In the late 90s, the efforts to be more interactive are obvious. Email has
been widely accepted by online newspapers as a way for readers to contact the newsroom
and even individual editors or reporters (Schultz, 1999). Newspapers incorporated highly
interactive features with database and provide lively forums for online discussion.
The adoption of new technology in newspaper production in the last decade
resulted in more technicians needed to operate and service new equipment (Picard, 1998).


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