Internet news Web sites are getting some respect. Advertising revenues are likely to follow, according to the director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

“Attitudes about the Web indicate a growing reliance on the medium as an intrinsic source of news and information,” Tom Rosenstiel wrote in the “State of the Media 2004” ( released Monday. Traffic to the 26 most popular news Web sites grew 70 percent from May 2002 to October 2003, he reported. “The (advertising) picture is clearly improving for online media,” he added, pointing out that classified revenue especially is growing rapidly on sites operated by newspapers.

While daily newspaper circulation has fallen 11 percent since 1990, the Internet has become a critical news resource for millions of people. “When asked to rank the importance of the Internet as a source for information, more than a third, almost 38 percent, of online news users gave it a 5 (the top rating), indicating how essential the medium has come to be seen,” Rosenstiel wrote. “People are drawn to the ability to get updated news around the clock from a seemingly endless array of sources.”

Martha Stewart

leaves board

NEW YORK – Ten days after being convicted in a stock scandal, Martha Stewart resigned Monday from the board of the homemaking empire that bears her name and stamps it on everything from magazines to bedsheets.

Stewart, 62, also stepped down as chief creative officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

But she was given the new title of founding editorial director, meaning she will probably remain an influential part of the company, despite an impending prison sentence that could last more than a year.

New mom denies

murder charge

SALT LAKE CITY – The woman charged with murder for allegedly refusing a Caesarean section that doctors say would have saved her twins pleaded innocent Monday.

One of the babies, a boy, was stillborn. The other, a girl, survived and already has been adopted.

Melissa Ann Rowland, 28, appeared in court via video from jail. Her attorney entered an innocent plea for her.

Prosecutors have said she ignored repeated recommendations that she get a C-section. They said she did not want a scar from the surgery.

Rowland denied that she refused a C-section. She said she was told during repeated hospital visits that her babies were fine and was never told she needed emergency surgery.

Rowland also faces child endangerment charges over the surviving baby, who was found to have cocaine and alcohol in her system. A drug test on Rowland also was positive for cocaine, according to court documents. District Attorney David Yocom said Sunday he was not aware of news reports that Rowland, jailed since giving birth, had attempted to sell one of the babies to raise money for bail.

– From wire services

A Sacramento couple interested in adopting a child told the Deseret News that Rowland offered to give them the child if they paid her bail.

In a jailhouse interview Friday with The Associated Press, Rowland denied trying to sell the baby.

Rowland has been previously convicted of child endangerment, stemming from a 2000 incident in which she punched another daughter for eating a candy bar in a store without paying for it.

AP-ES-03-15-04 1625EST


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