The Rise of Online-Only News: Journalists Taking Notice

Brian Morrissey, former digital editor for Adweek, recently joined DIGIDAY, a new digital marketing-focused online outlet, surprising many who follow the advertising media industry.  He shared his reason for the move with PRNewser citing that Adweek’s production often slowed initiatives due to the time-constraining weekly printing schedule and hinted that it prevented the outlet from breaking news.

Morrissey isn’t the only well-known journalist to move to an online-only publication, former Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz recently joined the Daily Beast and Richard Johnson left his position at the New York Post’s Page Six for the iPad-only The Daily.

There is no doubt that traditional media is changing rapidly, morphing into either multi-platform mediums or digital-only outlets.  Unfortunately, by the time an article rolls out in a daily newspaper, it has been covered first on Twitter and Facebook, followed by online mediums, blogs and television. This is pushing publications to focus on reaching their readers through social networks (think live tweeting events), mobile apps, online destinations or a combination of all of the above.

It is interesting to watch how media companies are evolving to meet consumers’ desire for fast-breaking news in multiple formats because this movement defines how PR professionals need to adapt campaign strategy and outreach. We have to be nimble with media pitches and communicate news quickly with key facts upfront.

With a growling list of online-only outlets emerging or creating news of their own, a new phase of journalism is among us.  Contrary to industry news just a year ago, with publications folding and long-time journalists being let go, we are finally reading about brand new outlets or more resources being invested in traditional publications’ online and social destinations. Is it possible that the news industry is finally looking ahead with optimism?  Let’s hope so.

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