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Competition Between the Internet and Traditional News Media: The Gratification-Opportunities Niche Dimension

  • John Dimmick
  • Yan Chen
  • Zhan Li
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    Over the last decade, the Internet has become one of the most popular vehicles facilitating a variety of communication and information-sharing tasks worldwide. Its growing popularity as a new medium of communication has resulted in changes in use of traditional media. The purpose of this study was to better understand the uses of online news compared with news use via traditional media. In light of the niche theory and the theory of uses and gratifications, a new medium survives, grows, competes, and prospers by providing utility or gratification to consumers. In doing so, it may have effects on existing media by providing new solutions to old needs or to more contemporary needs. Data were collected in a telephone survey with 211 respondents in the Columbus, Ohio (Franklin County), metropolitan area. The results clearly indicate that the Internet has a competitive displacement effect on traditional media in the daily news domain with the largest displacements occurring for television and newspapers. The findings also show that there is a moderately high degree of overlap or similarity between the niches of the Internet and the traditional media on the gratification-opportunities dimension. In addition, the results suggest that the Internet has the broadest niche on the gratification opportunities dimension, providing users satisfaction with more needs than any of the traditional media on this dimension.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Media Economics.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 19-33

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jmedec:v:17:y:2004:i:1:p:19-33
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