Digital news outlets are increasingly competing with print, TV and broadcast media in terms of quality, according to new research by digital news organization Digital Library News.
“In the digital era, digital media is now the single most important source of news and information for consumers, and the media is playing a key role in shaping that digital environment,” said Digital Library Director of Research and Technology, Adam S. Miller.
“Digital content is more than a ‘source,’ it’s an extension of the news and the information.
It’s the source of our knowledge and it is the best way to engage with the news.”
The researchers analyzed data from a variety of digital news outlets, including the top 10 digital news sites in terms “quality” and “content.”
While digital news organizations like CNN, the Huffington Post and the New York Times dominate the list, many other digital publications including BuzzFeed, Politico and Salon are also in the digital media game.
“There’s a lot of room for improvement in the quality of digital content,” said Miller.
The study also found that digital content is far more diverse than traditional print media.
For example, the researchers analyzed the content of some of the most popular digital media, including CNN, Forbes, BuzzFeed and Salon, and found that many of the content features are different from what is found in print.
While CNN is still the dominant digital news outlet, Salon has fallen off of the list since last year, and many of its stories were removed from its website in early 2017.
For instance, Salon was recently removed from the Washington Post’s website due to a copyright infringement complaint.
Salon also doesn’t appear on Google’s News Feed because of a copyright claim from a media company.
“The proliferation of the internet has opened up a whole new world of information, and so we need to continue to innovate and to look for ways to make the internet as a better place for our citizens and our businesses to operate,” said S. Matthew Johnson, vice president of research and innovation for Digital Library.
“With this study, we’ve seen the growth of digital media companies with the most valuable content and most innovative digital products.”
Miller said that while many news organizations have a great deal of value in terms a quality, content and digital platform, he believes there are still gaps in the market.
“Many news organizations are looking to get paid, but they don’t have the resources to invest in their digital platforms,” he said.
“And in fact, some digital news platforms don’t even exist anymore.”
He also noted that most digital news publishers don’t make money from digital advertising.
“This research is a wake-up call for publishers to consider the need for digital platforms, content platforms and platforms to be sustainable,” said Johnson.
“These digital platforms can provide a way for news organizations to reach their audience without having to compete with the traditional print and broadcast news media.”
To read the full report, click here.