USC Annenberg Online Journalism ReviewUSC

The View From Europe
Online News in Europe
Intro: The View From Europe
Great Britain
The Netherlands
Additional Resources
The Old World puts its own stamp on new media

While online journalism's roots run deepest in the United States, dozens of European news publications have taken to the Web since the mid-'90s, and many of them now rank among the best news sites in the world.

So today we give online news in Europe its due.  

First, a disclaimer: We weren't able to capture all the different flavors of digital journalism in every corner of Europe. Some sites -- such as the new-look Irish news portal, or Publico, the excellent news portal in Lisbon, Portugal, or Switzerland's stand-alone Web news site 20min, the 20-minute paper online --  were left out of this roundup for space reasons. Sites in Eastern Europe were bypassed because online news is still in its formative stages there.

But we were able to take a quick snapshot of online journalism's current state of affairs by sampling the opinion of a number of respected European journalists and academics.

Most of the experts we contacted underlined the diverse, deep-seated journalism traditions that infuse new media in each country. One observer, Mark Deuze of the Amsterdam School of Communications Research, even detected a fundamental cultural difference between northern and southern European approaches to online journalism.

"In northern Europe, new media investments and multimedia platforms  seem to be much more of a concerted effort, while southern European training programs and some newsrooms depend much more on inspired groups of individuals," he says. "Southern European journalism training emphasizes the role of the journalist as a writer and artist much more than the northern European tradition, which is more vocational and professional but much less fun."

American news professionals could well pick up some pointers from across the pond, where online publications are experimenting with different content models, offering playful games pages and embracing weblogs.
For those seeking a broader look at online news on the continent, follow the pointers in our related story, "Online News Resources in Europe."

story continued icon

On to Austria...