Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Reed College of Media


Reed College of Media

Committee Chair

Dana Coester

Committee Co-Chair

Bob Britten

Committee Member

Justin Ellis

Committee Member

Mary Kay McFarland


This paper describes the differences in the use of external hyperlinks between print-based and online-native news sites. External hyperlinks are links that direct the user to a page outside the original domain, such as the Huffington Post including a link to Wikipedia. A subcategorization of online-native sites into three distinct waves based on launch dates and corresponding to recent transitions in communications technology is proposed. A quantitative content analysis of hyperlinks embedded in the text of articles from print-based, second-wave, and third-wave news sites in 2005, 2010, and 2014 suggests that print-based and online-native news sites do use external hyperlinks differently. Online-native sites appear to use external hyperlinks substantially more than print-based sites do. Print-based sites use more internal than external links, while online-native sites use more external than internal links. External hyperlink usage in second-wave online news sites did not change significantly over the course of the study, but the change in print-based external hyperlink usage is inconclusive.