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The Net remembers Diana

A year after the Princess of Wales died in a Paris car accident, online media firms still are finding news value in the story.

Paul Festa Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Paul Festa
covers browser development and Web standards.
Paul Festa
2 min read
One year after Princess Diana of Wales died in a car accident in Paris, online media firms still are finding news value in the story.

"We're treating the event as a news story," said Jane Black, senior broadcast journalist with the British Broadcasting Company's online news site. "No event has had so much effect on this country in the past ten years. People have felt like it was a turning point for British society, in the way they relate to each other. There is a feeling that it was the end of the British stiff upper lip."

The BBC has created a special site for the first anniversary of Diana's death. Entitled "Diana: One Year On," it includes a candid interview with the late princess, a virtual tour of her family's estate, a collection of reader letters, and a series of essays by reporters who covered the princess and her death.

Another British news organization with a special one-year-later site is the Guardian.

Outside Britain, the story of Diana's death still attracts readers--and their money. Net bookseller Amazon today issued a press release to announce that two books on Diana have been selling well in anticipation of the first anniversary of her death. The first, The Day Diana Died, by Christopher Andersen, has been among the top five sellers for the past two weeks, Amazon said. Diana, Portrait of a Princess, by Jayne Fincher, has jumped from the 1027th-best-seller on August 17 to the 42nd-best-seller this morning.

Amazon also has created a site devoted to materials related to Diana.

Special reports from American news organizations on the one-year anniversary of Diana's death include those from ABCNews.com (a partner of CNET News.com), and CNN Interactive.

Diana's death received such a saturation of media exposure a year ago, both online and off, that some people may have barely had a chance to catch their breath before the current barrage began.

"The coverage over here has been amazingly huge," said the BBC's Black. "She's been on the front page of at least one newspaper every single day. There is this sense that people are sick of it. But as much as people say they're sick of it, there's still this incredible appetite for analysis."

One Web site that chose to let the occasion pass without mention is that of the royal family. Its Diana site remains unchanged from last year.