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What are E-Newspapers?

By Matthew F.
Updated May 16, 2024
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E-Newspapers are newspapers which are published electronically. They can take the form of normal print publications published on the Internet; additional or complimentary content to print publications published on-line; or original publications published exclusively on the World Wide Web. Many news organizations require subscription to e-newspapers, just like regular print newspapers. E-newspapers run the gauntlet of newspapers, from serious hard news, to features, to arts and entertainment, to sports, and everything in between.

As a product and form of media, e-newspapers first emerged in the mid 1990s with the popularization of the internet. As more households gained access to the internet, people began to use the Web as a news source. With a demand for news media on-line, many organizations used this opportunity for additional subscriptions, an expanded readership, and more advertising revenue. E-Newspapers, like most websites, utilize all of the tools of the internet. With web addresses similar to the name of the paper, hypertext and hyperlinks to additional stories or sections, uploaded photographs, and links to classifieds, e-newspapers follow the format of most print newspapers.

Many large and small publications around the country, from national to local papers, compliment their paper products with an on-line version. These e-newspapers usually feature all of the stories featured in the paper, plus additional content that can be updated by the minute for breaking stories. This capability of e-newspapers allows the slow process of print to catch up to the speed of television and internet news broadcasts. Many e-newspapers for large publications require a subscription price to view inside of the paper, usually only a small fee, though some are still free of charge.

As the news media evolves into the 20th century, many news organizations have developed Web-only publications. These e-newspapers feature content only found on the internet, and have taken shape in many different venues of the medium. Joke papers have emerged to spoof real newspapers, specialty papers have emerged for a younger Internet audience to highlight entertainment news, sports, celebrities, and hundreds of small niches.

The advent of e-newspapers has allowed for the practice of “news snacking.” This new development of the internet age has provided viewers the opportunity to click from one story to another, one source to another, to gain a quick idea of big headlines and interesting stories. E-newspapers have also allowed for frequent commenting on site, and have given writers and reporters the opportunity to share their opinions in the form of adjacent web logs and personal sites.

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Discussion Comments
By ceilingcat — On Oct 18, 2011

I favor free e-newspapers, but that's because I don't read the news all that much. I definitely don't read the news enough to pay for any kind of subscription!

With e-newspapers, I can just look at the website when I want to hear the news. If I got a subscription to a regular newspaper, I would get the news every day whether I wanted to read it or not!

Free e-newspapers are a great choice if you're frugal or just not into the news.

By sunnySkys — On Oct 18, 2011

@starrynight - I actually don't like the "commenting" aspect of e-newspapers. It's too easy for things to deteriorate into an argument. A lot of people have no idea how to behave online-they think because you're not talking to people in person, you don't need to be polite. Wrong!

I do like fact that e-newspapers are environmentally friendly. About a year ago I decided to take steps to make my house paperless. One of those steps was getting an e-reader and tablet. I read books on my e-readers and e-newspapers and PDF files on my tablet.

It's working very well for me so far. I haven't printed hardly anything recently!

By starrynight — On Oct 17, 2011

One thing I really like about e-newspapers is the ability to comment on the stories. And to read other people's comments as well. Instead of just reading the paper by yourself, you can have a whole interactive experience with people from all over the country (or right in your town.)

This is helpful for me, because most of my family isn't very interested in the news. But because of the Internet and e-newspapers I finally have someone to talk about the news with!

By sunshined — On Oct 17, 2011

One advantage to e-newspapers is that you can read certain articles and pages from several online newspapers without having a paid subscription to the whole paper.

This gives you access to articles and news from places all across the country that you would not have access to otherwise.

I love to work on the puzzles that are in the newspapers, and our paper doesn't have very many compared to a lot of the larger newspapers.

I know this is pretty trivial compared to all the news and events that is printed in e-newspapers, but it is one thing about the paper that I really enjoy.

I can go online and find all kinds of puzzles and games from a variety of e-newspapers that I was never able to do before.

By bagley79 — On Oct 16, 2011

My dad has subscribed to our daily newspaper for as long as I can remember. I always remember him sitting at the breakfast table reading the newspaper.

He lives in a rural area about 60 miles from the city where the newspaper is printed. A few months ago they called him and told him they were no longer going to be delivering the daily newspaper to his area.

If he wanted access to it, he could read it online. For the time being they were still delivering the Sunday paper, but for him, the daily paper is now only available on the internet.

I wonder how much longer it will be before the Sunday paper is also only available as an e news paper.

He gets online everyday so probably does read the paper online, but for him it is just not the same morning routine he was used to for so many years.

By OeKc05 — On Oct 15, 2011

I like the extra features offered through the e-newspaper that I can’t find anywhere else. The sports reporters keep blogs that they update at games, so I get to know the scores before they come out in an article. If there is inclement weather, someone keeps an updated list of business and road closings.

Another thing I love is that I can buy the photos published in the paper through the website. This particular paper has a national award winning photographer, and some of his pictures are like art to me. My friends with kids love being able to purchase photos of their children at local ballgames or in school plays.

By seag47 — On Oct 15, 2011

I subscribe to my local newspaper mostly out of principle. I don’t want to see it close down because of the internet, and I don’t want all those people to lose their jobs. As an added bonus, I can use the old newspapers for wrapping juicy garbage in and potty training my puppy. That’s something the internet could never offer!

I admit that I am in a rush in the morning, so I usually read the news online once I get to work. I have an online subscription to the same local paper for convenience. I can read it anytime, and I don’t get ink all over my hands.

By lighth0se33 — On Oct 15, 2011

I am an advertising representative for a newspaper, and I was surprised by our clients’ lack of interest in online advertising. It’s the same price as paper advertising, but it has the potential to reach a larger audience. Also, you can provide a link to your website in your ad.

These were the major selling points we used when trying to garner interest. Maybe it’s because we operate in a small town, or maybe they think people don’t read our website much. It’s just shocking to me that the only clients interested in online ads were real estate agents and car dealers.

By kylee07drg — On Oct 14, 2011

I work at a newspaper, and we used to publish stories online for free viewing. After our regular paper sales and advertising revenue started to decline, we decided we needed to start charging people to view information on our website.

Lots of customers were upset about it, but it was a business decision that needed to be made. Even several of our own employees said that it would never work.

We ended up getting hundreds of online subscriptions, because we only charged $5 a month. People could also view a certain day’s paper for only 50 cents. I think the low charge is what made it successful.

By serenesurface — On Oct 13, 2011

@drtroubles-- Yes, and with regular newspapers, there is only three or four options tops and no international newspapers whatsoever.

I speak three languages and there are plenty of e-newspapers in these languages that I can read online. It's impossible to do this otherwise.

It's great to have so many different options for news online. E-newspapers give us the chance to read different sides of a story and know what's really going on.

For example, I can read what other countries think about President Obama's latest policy change. Or I can follow the political situation in another country so easily.

By ddljohn — On Oct 13, 2011

@MrSmirnov-- I agree. I know that e-newspapers have a lot of advantages, like being free and easy to access. I know some people don't have time to read the newspaper and look through e-newspapers on their cell phone on the metro.

I personally prefer papers because I just enjoy the experience. This might seem weird, but I love the scent of the paper. It's very familiar and comforting because I've smelled it everyday for the past 25 years.

I agree that nothing can take the place of opening up the newspaper and having your morning coffee at the breakfast table.

By sunshine31 — On Oct 12, 2011

@MrSmirnov- I still read my local newspapers, but I do admit that I get most of my news from the Internet or cable news. I just think that for most people it is so convenient to log in to the Internet in your own home or switch on the television.

In this day and age we are used to a twenty-four hour news cycle and some people don’t take the time to buy the local news paper anymore. I know that in my town alone they had to lay off hundreds of employees because the newspaper was forced to reduce its workforce and raise the price of each paper just to survive. It is sad to see things like this happen, but many of these newspapers are also offering paid subscriptions online in order to compete.

The problem is that you can get free information from many sources online so I don’t know in the end if this tactic would be successful.

By MrSmirnov — On Oct 12, 2011

t really makes me sad that e-newspapers seem to be taking over the place of the local news newspaper in people's homes. Whatever happened to having breakfast while flicking through a paper? I know people want their news fast, but really, do you need to know everything instantly?

I feel like the news quality goes down when everything is delivered in little tiny bite size pieces. I like long features that take up pages. I like having something to actually hold and flip through. I can think of more than one instance where stories have had to be recalled online because new media reporters were so set on getting the story out that they forget to check their facts. That kind of sloppy reporting just didn't happen as much in real newspapers if you ask me.

The day I stop going to the newspaper stand is the day it disappears. I hope more people will follow suit.

By drtroubles — On Oct 11, 2011

In my opinion free e-newspapers are the future of the media. While people still love their local newspapers, I think that they are really behind the times. Not knowing the news as soon as it happens now is really a thing of the past. By the time traditional papers go to print, I already know the entire story.

I remember the last time a big event happened, and through my Twitter feed I knew what was going on even before the online e-newspapers did! I think that to keep customers media companies are going to need to get even more creative with their delivery.

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