Master of Science
Mass Communication and Media Arts
Freivogel, William H.
AN ABSTRACT OF THE RESEARCH PAPER OF
DEVIN MILLER, for the Master of Science degree in NEW MEDIA, presented on November 9, 2010 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
TITLE: Who wants yesterday's papers? The rise of independent online media
MAJOR PROFESSOR: William H. Freivogel
My research project focuses on the current financial and editorial health of the newspaper industry in the United States and the struggles newspapers are having in regards to profitability with their online operations. I have collected background information on independent and non-profit online journalism, the emergence of citizen journalism, and the redistribution of news via blogs and content aggregators. In this paper, I analyze these forms of digital media and determine whether they are adding or subtracting from the value creation process of corporately owned news organizations.
My goal in doing this research was to develop a unique alternative community journalism website. The site I have developed, iSouthernIllinois.com, includes video, photography, and text content taking a bottom-up approach to storytelling. While there is some text on the site, iSouthernIllinois.com primarily uses the visual storytelling mediums of video and photography. Another goal of this project was to determine whether the print business model is a necessary compliment to a web product or if a stand-alone news website can be profitable after a complete phase-out of print operations, or as a new startup company. I will also examine my internal debate during the creation process of the site: whether to launch iSouthernIllinois.com as a for-profit business or using a non-profit model.