-- "Involvement Journalism" Engages Members in Interactive Process; On-Demand Multimedia Service Enables Them to Consume and React to the News on Their Terms
-- AOL News Adds to its World Class News Partner Network; Signs Agreement with USATODAY.com and Expands Relationship with NYTimes.com
America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today announced the launch of an all-new AOL News experience. The enhanced online news service delivers best-of-breed content, resources and top personalities on-demand, 24 hours a day, while actively involving members in the news process. As part of the launch, AOL has expanded and signed agreements with some of the world's most trusted news sources, including USATODAY.com and NYTimes.com, to provide AOL members with premium, comprehensive news coverage.
Consistently ranked by comScore Media Metrix(1) as the number one online news destination with 24.1 million unique visitors per month, AOL News continues to distinguish itself from other online news providers. By offering an "involvement journalism" experience, AOL News brings members the complete news on their terms and instantly engages them in the story through a wide range of multimedia offerings. Using the power of the on-demand news environment, members can read newspaper and magazine stories, watch TV footage, listen to audio clips and view photos--all from one convenient source and at no additional charge. The new AOL News format also enables members to access the day's top stories via the AOL.COM Web site when they are away from home. With AOL News, members, not editors, pick the medium and decide how and when they consume the news.
To complement the member's personalized news experience, AOL News offers multiple opportunities for members to join in the larger news debates and connect with other members through polls, message boards, chatrooms and AOL Journals (blogs), creating a more enhanced, shared experience. For a truly intimate news experience, members can also connect with eyewitnesses, newsmakers and news correspondents who offer additional analysis and unique perspectives. For example, AOL members can currently enjoy exclusive video interviews by George Stephanopoulos, anchor of ABC News' Sunday morning program "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." Mr. Stephanopoulos also answers members' questions about major news events and key political issues.
"We're changing the way people consume and experience the news," said Lewis D'Vorkin, AOL's Editor-in-Chief for News and Sports. "AOL's unique format allows us to create a dynamic, interactive experience that our members trust and value. AOL News brings members the news they want in their preferred format and incorporates multiple voices through shared storytelling elements. As a result, not only do members get the news, but they can also see how others are reacting and gain different perspectives on world events. It's a strategy we call involvement journalism."
The AOL News service continues to increase in popularity among members, attracting 3.6 million daily users.(2) In fact, a recent Jupiter Research report(3) found AOL to be the overall leader in online news, citing AOL's unique visitor and core index ratings.
Key AOL News offerings for members accessing the AOL service either through the AOL for Broadband service or a dial-up Internet connection include:
-- World-Class Partners: AOL News brings together a wide range of content across all categories, including national and international news, sports, entertainment, business, politics, health, science and crime and the courts. Through its extensive network of world-class partners, AOL News covers most major forms of media, with content ranging from wire, newspaper and magazine stories to television and radio news clips and interviews. AOL members can enjoy special features such as on-demand access to breaking video news feeds and updates, in-depth reports on key issues and interactive chats.
USATODAY.com and NYTimes.com join the ranks of AOL's existing top-notch partners such as ABC News, The Associated Press, CNN, Reuters, Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated. Through relationships with People and Entertainment Weekly, AOL News also features marquee entertainment specials as well as weekly cover stories. Along with its CNN News Ticker, CNN provides AOL News with custom interactive features such as galleries and timelines, as well as video content from CNN NewsPass, including "90 Second Pop" and nightly clips from "Anderson Cooper 360 degrees."
-- Dynamic News Search: A new AOL News Search mechanism makes it easier than ever for members to get the news they want. By integrating the AOL News Search feature with the flagship AOL Search, members can access top news across all categories, including sports, entertainment and business, no matter where they are on the AOL service. In addition to AOL news stories, search results include images, Web content and AOL Community features such as message boards and chatrooms pertaining to the searched topic.
-- Special Packages: Daily news packages, easily accessible from the AOL Welcome Screen and integrated throughout the AOL service, offer an in-depth look at the hottest news stories of the day. The day's top newsmakers are spotlighted on the AOL News main page, allowing members to catch up on the biggest news at a glance. AOL News' 6 PM Daily Pulse reports regularly reach 1 million members a night, making it larger than most cable news programs.(2) In addition, AOL's "Strange but True" segments, which appear each Saturday, draw up to 2 million members every weekend to read uncanny, real-life stories.(2)
-- Interactive News Features: To complement the premium news content, compelling interactive features such as online opinion surveys and discussion areas are embedded alongside the stories so members can react and interact with one another with just one click. A feature called "What America Thinks" measures what Americans are thinking about and how they are responding to top news stories. AOL News also monitors the pulse of America by engaging people of different ages, genders, backgrounds and viewpoints through related message boards, polls and shout-out areas.
-- Internet Accessibility: AOL members can now access AOL News while at work or away from home by logging on to AOL.COM from the Web. Members can also set up AOL News Alerts to notify them via e-mail, Instant Message or mobile phone when breaking news hits.
-- Rich Photo Galleries: Comprehensive photo galleries illustrate the key issues and news stories of the day, including images from leading photo journalists plus member submitted photos.
About America Online, Inc.
America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.
(1) comScore Media Metrix, October 2003
(2) AOL Internet Data
(3) Jupiter Research, April 2003