Online newspapers: A substitute or complement for print newspapers and other information channels?

  • De Waal E
  • Schönbach K
  • Lauf E
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Research suggests that online newspapers are not as good as their printed counterparts in widening the range of topics their audience is aware of. But should we be concerned about that? So far, visiting online newspapers does not seem to be a substitute for reading traditional newspapers. But the evidence is scarce; only a few studies specifically look at the impact of online newspapers. In this study we look at to what extent online newspapers take over from printed newspapers and other information channels. We investigate the relation between using online newspapers and other media channels, and look into the usefulness of online newspapers for different types of information compared to their offline counterparts and other information channels. A recent survey of almost 1,000 respondents, representative of the Dutch adult population, shows that visiting online newspapers is negatively related to using print newspapers among the young, and more time spent on them seems to reduce the time spent watching television, at least, among males and lower educated respondents. Online newspapers do not seem to diminish the use of other media or the time spent on them though. On the contrary, their visitors use some information channels more often and more extensively, even after other plausible reasons for media use are controlled for. Furthermore, they regard printed newspapers and television as better suited for their information needs. Introduction

Author-supplied keywords

  • Media audience
  • Media use
  • Online newspapers
  • Print newspapers
  • The netherlands

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  • Ester De Waal

  • Klaus Schönbach

  • Edmund Lauf

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