What is the top news agenda of Internet news sites and how does it differ from other media?
Here our answers are more limited than for some other media. To focus on the broader character of the Web - the level of interactivity, updating and other features- the study chose to look at a limited number of days but to examine those days in detail every four hours. Given that, there is little we can say quantitatively about the news agenda of the Web sites analyzed.
What we can offer is more impressionistic. Here, we were left with the sense that in its lead stories the Internet is more tied to traditional news topics than is often the case in cable and broadcast television, which have become somewhat more infotainment or tabloid in flavor. Web managers may be conscious that a sizable part of their audience is accessing their sites during the day at work. On the other hand, the infinite space on the Internet gives it a luxury that television does not have. It can cover everything. It is also, at this point, a less visual medium than television.
Perhaps given those similarities to print, the top stories on the Internet, at least according to our limited sample, share more in common with newspapers than with television.
But the Internet is more than print online. The degree to which the differences are developed and used varies from site to site, and it does not appear to be a matter of some sites having interactivity and others not. Rather, different sites seem to have chosen certain kinds of interactivity over others.