Some News Web Sites Are Fighting For Survival
ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: A new poll finds more and more Americans
are turning to the Internet for news. But doesn't mean all is well
in the world of online journalism. In the past week, two news Web
sites, Salon.com and APB.com -- APBnews.com, were hit hard by layoffs.
CNN's Deborah Feyerick takes a look now at the landscape of news Web
sites and what it takes to succeed in cyberspace.
BERNHARD WARNER, "INDUSTRY STANDARD" MAGAZINE: They're going back to the same group of institutional investors and some of them are turning their backs, because their portfolio is already hurting.
FEYERICK: Internet analysts say part of the problem is that investors look at journalism the same way they look at e-commerce, or Web shopping, that is a way to earn some fast money.
SREENATH SREENIVASAN, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Journalism requires a kind of commitment that most investors, most venture capitalists don't have. It takes a long time to produce a quality product.
SYDNEY SCHANBERG, JOURNALIST, APBNEWS.COM: They are bottom line people and you -- you know, you can't blame them, it's what they do and this is what I do, and maybe it's not a fit.
FEYERICK: Web sites make money either through subscriptions or through advertisers, who tend to favor companies like CNN, or ABC News, with a built-in audience.
MICHAEL O'DONNELL, SALON.COM: Clearly, they are competition, because they have such a big brand presence, they leverage their TV assets or their radio assets. But I think on the Web, people are looking for fresh, original content, and that's what we have.
FEYERICK (on camera): Media insiders say Internet journalism is here to stay, but they say news sites need to be realistic: start small, build carefully, and develop a loyal audience. (voice-over): Proving they can one day turn a profit, so investors will commit for the long run. Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)