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Abstract

The 2003 Iraq War was the first military conflict in which online media played a significant role. Traditional news organizations from around the world provided extensive coverage of the conflict on their websites, reaching global audiences and adding new dimensions to traditional war reporting. This study explores how the Internet disseminated news about the war by comparing 26 international newspaper sites (N = 791) and their use of Web-specific features such as hyperlinks, animations, multimedia content, and interactive elements. By proposing a three-stage model of online journalism and applying it to the online war coverage, the analysis suggests that online journalism has not yet reached the state of convergence. The differences in online news coverage between the United States and international websites and their implications are also discussed.