Keep your eye on the…web

A lot of focus has been put (here at J-Source, as well) on the negative ways the economic crisis is affecting the media business, mainly in the form of layoffs and cutback. But some news organizations have also made moves recently to get in the new media game and beef up their face on the web.

Canwest launched a new website platform for its ten dailies across the country and the new platform is a vast improvement over the old, wildly outdated version. The Globe and Mail announced a new Books portal will be added to the, including videos, podcasts, reviews and plans for a reader book club in the Spring. While the print version of Masthead magazine died in November, its publisher ultimately decided to continue publishing online. And The Wall Street Journal launched a social network for business people, in an attempt to connect with readers.

Times ExtraThe fear of third party links has been a tough one for news editors to let go of, as the desire to hold on to readers’ eyeballs runs deep. But The New York Times has taken a big step by launching Times Extra, which aggregates outside links and posts them below related stories. Times Extra is a second version of the Times site, which readers have to click to enter.

As Kelly Toughill notes, media business struggles cannot be blamed on the Internet alone, but it is one of the key factors and editors and publishers must continue finding ways to improve online offerings.