Newswise — September 24, Charlottesville, VA — Twenty years ago this month, Newswise began with the goal to provide more effective communication between journalists and their sources. As the first online news service for journalists, the original vision for Newswise was to build a comprehensive database of news releases about research news, and to deliver it with state-of-the-art technology. Over the past two decades, prolific changes have occurred within the culture of news, particularly the introduction of technology that has fundamentally altered the process of how people create and consume the news. A commitment to keep up with leading technology has fueled Newswise to parallel and, in some cases, lead the changes of the news culture.
Newswise achieved the original vision years ago, and today the company is moving beyond just the news release. There are many opportunities for other types of information that journalists need, and Newswise plans to continue building tools to help journalists.
Roger Johnson, founder of Newswise, created a service that has adapted alongside the news system as it developed from a completely paper process to advanced digital communication. As the world has embraced the speed and opportunity provided by the Internet and email, journalists have used technology to evolve the way they develop a story. Instead of the former linear process, controlled by gatekeepers of the printing press and newspapers, news development has undergone a kind of democratization. Today, anyone can practice journalism, and journalism strives to create new business models for survival.
As a former journalist, Roger Johnson supports these changes, “I celebrate the expanded opportunity for people to participate in journalism. There is more opportunity, so it is increasingly important that the principles of journalism be refined and taught.” Through Johnson's work as a science writer and researcher, he realized the value to journalists that a one-stop resource providing all the latest research news would offer. By building Newswise, Johnson created a trusted source for credible, knowledge-based content. The delivery method is based on an honor system committed to giving journalists something of value. “My goal was to build a system in which journalists want to participate, they want to receive our news. Newswise offers the best delivery system because of this relationship where journalists can choose the content they want, and when and how they want it.”
While the Internet may have shifted the speed, delivery and access to news, the basic process remains the same: journalists obtain information from the source, then frame it for the reader. Committed to enhancing this process with integrity and reliability, Newswise always offers research news delivered intact and directly from the source. If news is a manufactured good, Newswise provides the raw materials. After twenty years of hard work and innovation, Johnson commemorates this anniversary. “I celebrate daily the opportunity to deliver the news. Building Newswise is the best thing I've ever done in my professional life; I created a business, a team of people – it's a healthy enterprise. I'm proud and happy to have something that has worked out so well for so many people.” Today, Newswise serves the news distribution needs for hundreds of contributing organizations from around the world. Daily news wires reach thousands of journalist subscribers representing major media outlets, public relations professionals, and other interested public users. The website comprises a permanent database of more than 100,000 news releases and accessed monthly by over 200,000 interested users.