The year 2011 brought extraordinary progress for online journalism. These trends are quickly shaping the web news industry. Here are six major moves that had the biggest impact on digital journalism this year:
1. Paywalls: 2011 was the year paywalls worked. The New York Times strategy was criticized initially, but it has turned a profit.
2. NPR's Andy Carvin -- His Twitter account became a one-man newswire dedicated to the culminating situation in the Middle East and the Arab Spring. His record is 1,200 tweets in 48 hours.
3. Journalists Utilize Google+ -- Many were quick to sign on and use the platform for news and reporting. New Jersey newspaper The Trentonian was lauded as the first to use Google+ for breaking news.
4. Mobile Gets Competitive - News organizations showed a new commitment to smartphone and tablet apps this year. News Corp launched The Daily and CNN bought Apple iPad app Zite.
5. Facebook Makes Personal Branding Easier - Journalists use the social net as a personal branding and content distribution opportunity. Think Nicholas Kristof as well as less-known writers. Subscribe gave lesser-known journalists a way to connect with readers on a larger scale.
6. Pulitzer Goes Digital- The Pulitzer Board revised its Breaking News category criteria to emphasize real-time reporting. This is the ultimate recognition that Web journalism has come into its own.