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The Gray Lady Gets a New Dress: a field study of the Times News Reader

Catherine C. Marshall


Increasingly individuals are turning to online sources for their daily news. Traditional newspapers have developed significant web presences to compete with newer services such as news aggregators and emerging genres such as blogs and other forms of citizen journalism. This paper reports the results of a field study to investigate the use of a new RSS-driven, template-based presentation mechanism that delivers a daily newspaper to subscribers’ laptops and desktops; the Times News Reader hybridizes elements of print newspapers with aspects of online news. We explore how this application compares with print and web-based news reading and evaluate functionality developed to draw in readers from both audiences. Finally we examine three general technological implications drawn from current use: how the news reader may adapt to different styles of reading; how the news reader’s functionality may be extended to highlight the timeliness of the content and to personalize the application; and how long-term use of the news reader can result in a personal news archive.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of the 7th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL '07)
AddressNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc.
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