Going online created more opportunities for newspapers, such as competing with broadcast journalism in presenting breaking news in a more timely manner. The credibility and strong brand recognition of well-established newspapers, and the close relationships they have with advertisers, are also seen by many in the newspaper industry as strengthening their chances of survival. The movement away from the printing process can also help decrease costs.
Online newspapers are much like hard-copy newspapers and have the same legal boundaries, such as laws regarding libel, privacy and copyright, also apply to online publications in most countries, such as in the UK. Also in the UK the Data Protection Act applies to online newspapers and news pages, as well as the PCC rules in the UK. But the distinction was not very clear to the public in the UK as to what was a blog or forum site and what was an online newspaper. In 2007, a ruling was passed to formally regulate UK based online newspapers, news audio, and news video websites covering the responsibilities expected of them and to clear up what is, and what isn't, an online publication.
News reporters are being taught to shoot video and to write in the succinct manner necessary for the Internet news pages. Many are learning how to implement blogs and the ruling by the UK's PCC should help this development of the internet. Some newspapers have attempted to integrate the internet into every aspect of their operations, i.e., reporters writing stories for both print and online, and classified advertisements appearing in both media; others operate websites that are more distinct from the printed newspaper. The Newspaper National Network LP is an online advertising sales partnership of the Newspaper Association of America and 25 major newspaper companies.
An early example of an "online only" newspaper or magazine is "News Report", an online newspaper created by Bruce Parrello in 1974 on the PLATO system at the University of Illinois. Beginning in 1987, the Brazilian newspaper Jornaldodia ran on the state owned Embratel network, moving to the internet in the 1990s. By the late 1990s, hundreds of U.S. newspapers were publishing online versions, but did not yet offer much interactivity. One example is Britain's Weekend City Press Review, which provided a weekly news summary online beginning in 1995.
Very few newspapers in 2006 claimed to have made money from their websites, which were mostly free to all viewers. Declining profit margins and declining circulation in daily newspapers forced executives to contemplate new methods of obtaining revenue from websites, without charging for subscription. This has been difficult. Newspapers with specialized audiences such as The Wall Street Journal and The Chronicle of Higher Education successfully charge subscription fees. Most newspapers have an online edition, including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Mid Day, and The New York Times.
In Australia, some newspapers corporations offer an online version to let their readers read the news online, such as The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald.
The true online only paper is a paper that does not have any hard copy connections. An example of this is an independent web-only newspaper, introduced in the UK in 2000, called the Southport Reporter. It is a weekly regional newspaper that is not produced or run in any format other than 'soft-copy' on the internet by its publishers, PCBT Photography. Unlike blog sites and other news websites, it is run as a newspaper and is recognized by media groups in the UK, such as the NUJ and/or the IFJ. They fall under the UK's press regulations and are signed up to officially recognized UK press regulator IMPRESS, or the former PCC, body IPSO, who are not officially recognized by the UK Government, but are by some of the national Press in the UK. Another example is the Atlantic Highlands Herald, a New Jersey-based web-only daily newspaper published in the US since 1999.
allNovaScotia is an online newspaper based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada that publishes business and political news six days a week. The website was the first online-only newspaper in Atlantic Canada and has been behind a paywall since starting in 2001.
Even print media is turning to online only publication. As of 2009, the collapse of the traditional business model of print newspapers has led to various attempts to establish local, regional or national online-only newspapers - publications that do original reporting, rather than just commentary or summaries of reporting from other publications. An early major example in the U.S. is the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which stopped publishing after 149 years in March 2009 and went online only. In Scotland, in 2010, Caledonian Mercury became Scotland's first online-only newspaper, with the same aims as Southport Reporter in the UK, with The Yorkshire Times following suit and becoming Yorkshire's first online-only paper in 2011.
In the US, technology news websites such as CNET, TechCrunch, and ZDNet started as web publications and enjoy comparable readership to the conventional newspapers. Also, with the ever-rising popularity of online media, veteran publications like the U.S. News & World Report are abandoning print and going online-only. Another example of an online-only English daily newspaper is the Arabian Post], focussing on the Middle East's current affairs and business. There are a few niche online-only news websites such as Engadget, Mashable, Nagina News Portal, Polygon, Aperture Games and Game Rant.
News aggregation technology helps to consolidate many online newspapers into one page or application that can show the new or updated information from many online news sources. News aggregators like Feedly and Flipboard show users stories from a user defined list of RSS feeds. Others like Google news and Newsprompt are able to cluster similar stories and show top news from across many leading news sites.
In 2015 the percentage of people who reported that print was their preferred method for reading a newspaper, down nearly 4% from 2014. The methods people use to get their news from digital means was at 28%, as opposed to 20% of people attaining the news through print newspapers. These trends indicate an increase in digital consumption of newspapers, as opposed to print. Today, ad revenue for digital forms of newspapers is nearly 25%, while print is constituting the remaining 75%. Contrastingly, ad revenue for digital methods was 5% in 2006.
Hybrid newspapers are predominantly focused on its online content, but also produce a print form. Trends in online newspapers indicate publications may switch to digital methods, especially online newspapers in the future. The New York Times is an example of this model of newspaper as it provides both a home delivery print subscription and a digital one as well. There are some newspapers which are predominantly online, but also provide limited hard copy publishing An example is annarbor.com, which replaced the Ann Arbor News in the summer of 2009. It is primarily an online newspaper, but publishes a hard copy twice a week. Other trends indicate that this business model is being adopted by many newspapers with the growth of digital media.
In 2013, the Reuters Institute commissioned a cross-country survey on news consumption, and gathered data related to online newspaper use that emphasize the lack of use of paid online newspaper services. The countries surveyed were France, German, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Japan, Brazil, the United States, and the United Kingdom. All samples within each country were nationally representative. Half of the sample reportedly paid for a print newspaper in the past 7 days, and only one-twentieth of the sample paid for online news in the past 7 days. That only 5% of the sample had recently paid for online newspaper access is likely because most people access news that is free. People with portable devices, like tablets or smartphones, were significantly more likely to subscribe to digital news content. Additionally, younger people—25- to 34-year-olds—are more willing to pay for digital news than older people across all countries. This is in line with the Pew Research Center’s finding in a survey of U.S. Americans that the Internet is a leading source of news for people less than 50.
- Digital media
- Electronic journalism
- History of French journalism
- Internet radio
- Internet television
- Online magazine
- World Wide Web
- List of online newspaper archives
- "Newspapers Recreate Their Medium" eJournal USA, March 2006 LINK
- UK Copyright Law info. website
- Data Protection Act 1998
- See Journalism Mag. and also the PCC website AOP (UK Association of Online Publishers)
- New York Magazine Holdings LLC also see Interactive Features of Online Newspapers by Keith Kenney, Alexander Gorelik and Sam Mwangi First Monday, volume 5, number 1 (January 2000) and also UK's PCC website press release.
- Schultz, Tanjev (1999). "Interactive Options in Online Journalism: A Content Analysis of 100 U.S. Newspapers". Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 5 (1): 1. doi:10.1111/j.1083-6101.1999.tb00331.x.
- Jason Deans, 2005-12-08. "Gervais to host Radio 2 Christmas show." The Guardian.
- The Atlantic Highlands Herald is recognized by the New Jersey Senate and Assembly as New Jersey's first official electronic newspaper. 
- Alzner, Belina. "A paywall success story: AllNovaScotia.com". J-Source: The Canadian Journalism Project. J-Source. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
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- Hsiang Iris Chyi & Dominic L. Lasorsa (2002). "An Explorative Study on the Market Relation Between Online and Print Newspapers". Journal of Media Economics. 15 (2): 91–106. doi:10.1207/S15327736ME1502_2.