CAMPAIGNS: Weekly Web Watch - Olympian debut for news site

Organisation: TheNewsMarket



Issue: site launch



At: www.thenewsmarket.com



The NewsMarket.com launched to coincide with the start of the Olympic

Games, on Friday 15 September. Chief executive Shoba Purushothaman says

the venture chose the Olympics as a testing ground from which to

introduce the site's public face.



The NewsMarket offers companies and PR agencies a news distribution

facility that encompasses traditional on-line news delivery with an

added broadcast facility. The latter enables image stills, video footage

and soundbites to be stored on the site for use by broadcast and print

media. Journalists can then access stories free of charge, and/or

download broadcast files for a fee.



Companies and PR agencies pay the The NewsMarket for the distribution of

stories and broadcast coverage and are provided with a media measurement

service.



The home page of the site introduces The NewsMarket as 'the ultimate

working tool' for a journalist and claims that 'if you're a company or a

PR agency, we'll help your stories fly'.



A lot of the content is provided by companies, while other information

is sourced by The NewsMarket news teams. The former, for example, has a

story about Speedo's revolutionary swimming costume, which is worn by

American competitor Jenny Thomson. The story was sold into the site by

Speedo.



The site's different sections are listed on a banner at the top of the

screen. They are 'stories', 'news and community', 'library',

'marketplace', 'about us', 'help' and 'my newsroom'.



The 'stories' section presents the user with a series of news digests

and supporting images. The lead story at the time of going to press was

that Sydney had broken the Olympics' ticket sales record. At the bottom

of the page the user can access either instantly viewable low or high

resolution files, or download broadcast quality images.



'News and community' contains a variety of international media stories,

such as the BBC's creation of a commercial internet venture. 'Library'

contains a key-word search facility that accesses The NewsMarket's

archives and gives a headline list of relevant articles.'My newsroom'

gives the user a selection of stories from around the globe. When

registering details on the site the user can specify areas of particular

interest to them.



Users can also search under specific sector categories, such as

'technology', 'human interest' and business/finance.



Towards the bottom left of the page, there are additional icons:

'alerts', 'GNN', 'calendar' and 'experts'. The latter is due to launch

within the next six weeks and will enable users to download soundbites

from industry analysts.



The web site is very much in its infancy with content being

predominantly Olympics-focused. However, as The NewsMarket's customer

base grows and all its services are fully up and running it should prove

an invaluable asset to PR agencies and the media alike.



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