Newspapers of Record in a Digital Age: From Hot Type to Hot Link

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 159 pages

Newspapers as a record of the day's events and conduit for public business have been part of life in the United States for several hundred years. While some newspapers claim the newspaper of record characteristics for themselves, others are so designated to serve specific community functions, such as the town chronicler or public notice distributor. The expression newspaper of record is most often found among works by lawyers, historians, and librarians. Yet many newspapers are now developing online news products that do not correspond directly to the newsprint version. Many are asking whether online newspapers will replace traditional newsprint products and whether the online version can or should be treated as equal to the newsprint version. State and municipal governments are exploring electronic distribution of public notices, challenging newspapers' exclusive claim to legal notice advertising revenue.

Martin and Hansen focus on some of the traditional uses of newspapers by groups who use the newspaper of record concept, and they compare traditional newspapers to online newspapers as records. After a historical review, they examine legal and archival uses for newspapers, report on several case studies of online newspaper production, and conclude with suggestions for future scholarly, legal, and industry focus on the newspaper of record concept. This valuable analysis serves professionals in journalism and law as well as scholars and researchers in journalism and archive management.


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The Newspaper as an Official Publication
The News Industry and Newspapers of Record
The Legal System and Legal Notices in Newspapers
Newspapers as Reference Sources
Newspapers Online
Newspapers as Records in a Digital Environment
Examples of Legal Notices
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (1998)

SHANNON E. MARTIN is Assistant Professor of Journalism at the School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University. Among her earlier publications is Bits, Bytes, and Big Brother (Praeger, 1995).

KATHLEEN A. HANSEN is Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, where she also holds the title of Sevareid Librarian. Among her earlier publications is Search Strategies in Mass Communication with Jean Ward (3rd ed., 1997).

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