AOL News Channel Is the Number One Destination in Cyberspace for General News

September 8, 1998

-- Clinton Testimony and Afghanistan/Sudan Bombings Draw Significant Numbers of Users, Indicative Of Significant Trend Toward Online News Consumption -- Dulles, VA, September 8, 1998 -- When news-hungry consumers want up-to-the-minute information online, twice as many go to AOL's News Channel as any other source. AOL's News Channel is the number one destination for general news in cyberspace, with more than 5.2 million unique users, or more than twice as many users as the next most popular general news site online or on the Web, according to Media Metrix, the PC Meter Company. According to the July 1998 WWW/Online at Home Report from Media Metrix, the AOL News Channel ranked number one for general news in July with a Reach rating - or the percentage of unique WWW and online users who visit a specified area during any given month -- of 11.7, more than twice the reach of other news websites, MSNBC.com (4.9%), CNN.com (4.0%) and USAToday.com (3.1%). Media Metrix the only "online measurement service" that measures those who go online or on the Internet indicates that the News Channel has approximately 5.2 million users, or more than the combined circulation of the nation's top three daily newspapers: Wall Street Journal (1.8 million readers), USA Today (1.7 million readers), and New York Times (1.1 million readers). The percentage of Americans getting news from the Internet at least once a week has more than tripled in the past two years, from 11 to 36 million users, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center.* AOL is proof positive of the trend toward online news consumption, with millions of its 13 million members regularly tuning to the AOL News Channel and millions more of Internet users accessing customized news on AOL.Com. "More and more people are turning to the online medium to access daily and breaking news stories," said Jonathan Sacks, Senior Vice President, Programming Operations. "Through our partnerships with the leading names in news, AOL is at the forefront of the consumer trend toward going online to find the latest in breaking news. It's news on demand, from one easy and convenient source." AOL's Global News Community "AOL's 'news community' is another primary reason behind the popularity of the channel," continued Sacks. "Members come to AOL's News Channel 24 hours a day to read the latest news and then to hold thoughtful conversations about subjects important to them." AOL's News Channel recently hosted the largest global news discussion in its history, with 225,000 messages posted in a week about President Clinton's testimony before the grand jury. That response was the largest message board discussion ever to take place on America Online. The death of Princess Diana inspired 150,000 messages in the same amount of time. The AOL News Channel also facilitates discussions with newsmakers and experts when news breaks. After the US cruise missile attacks, AOL members were able to discuss the events with the former Director of Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (Ret.) Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Kelly; former UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick; and one of the rescuers sent to help recover the dead and wounded at the US Embassy in Nairobi. AOL members tuned in to the News Channel for President Clinton's live address to the nation on August 17 and again on August 20th for a text simulcast of ABC News' "Nightline" regarding the US bombings of terrorist posts in Afghanistan and Sudan. Providing up-to-the-minute information and in-depth reports from the most trusted names in news, AOL's News Channel features reports from ABCNEWS.com, The Associated Press, Bloomberg, Business Week, Newsweek, The New York Times, Reuters and along with reports from exclusive columnists including NPR's Amy Dickinson and the Chicago Tribune's Roger Simon. Thousands of special-interest publications ranging from Rolling Stone to Scientific American are available on AOL's News Channel. AOL brings its members in-depth reports complete with the state-of-the-art moving image and sound Slideshow technology from AOL and ABCNews.com.

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