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Media giants cover the world

Dow Jones, the Financial Times, and Knight-Ridder Information team up to create an international online news resource, the largest effort of its kind among print media players.

As part of the parade of print media giants muscling their way into the online world, Dow Jones, the Financial Times, and Knight-Ridder Information said today they will team up to create an international online news resource, the largest effort of its kind among print media players.

Still unnamed, the service will be launched in the middle of next year. Despite their long-established presence in newspaper publishing, online competition will be stiff. The service is expected to compete with online data powerhouses such as Lexis-Nexis, DataTimes, and MAID's Profound service.

"What is unique about this effort is that it brings together three widely respected organizations experienced in both newspaper publishing and electronic business research," said Jeff Galt, president of Knight-Ridder Information.

Like the others, the print media troika plans to sell their content principally to corporate, research, government, and academic customers. The service will be fee-based, although rates haven't been determined. The service will be marketed independently by each company.

Dow Jones, the Financial Times, and Knight-Ridder are attracted to the new arena because their customers for business news are already online in significant numbers. But in addition, many international corporations, ranging from IBM and Exxon to construction giant the Bechtel Group are demanding the service to get information to overseas outposts.

Dow Jones, Financial Times, and Knight-Ridder business alliance plans to respond to this need by paying particular attention to information coming from emerging markets, such as the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. They hope that niche will separate the service from others.

The venture plans to publish 2 million articles annually from major newspapers, magazines, and trade publications throughout the world. The articles will be compiled at a data center in London.

This is certainly not the first time that newspapers have teamed up to build their presence online. Nine major U.S. media companies, including the New York Times Company, Times-Mirror, and Tribune Company, have teamed up to create the New Century Network. The NCN network sells national advertising on behalf of its clients and provides syndicated content and technology tools for newspaper affiliates' online sites.