Media: Lifeline - Newspaper websites

Metro is the latest paper to venture into the realm of online publishing.

1994: The Telegraph Group unveils the Electronic Telegraph, the UK's first online newspaper operation. Rivals are unimpressed. "We don't feel the paper of the future will be on an electronic screen," David Brook (pictured), then The Guardian's marketing director, insists.

1999: But rivals soon follow suit. FT.com launches in 1995 and The Times, The Mirror and The Independent arrive in 1996. Guardian Unlimited launches in 1999. As the dotcom bubble begins to swell to alarming dimensions, publishers also begin flirting with general portals and internet service provider operations, such as News International's currantbun.com. These don't survive the crash.

2001: The crash having wiped out growth prospects from online advertising and e-commerce, publishers look for new ways to monetise their online presence. Business titles such as the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal have for months been charging for access to some parts of their sites. Now, The Times experiments with this by charging £10 a year for access to its crossword section.

2004: The Daily Mail & General Trust has enjoyed success with This Is London but has also had its fingers burned with charlottestreet.com. Now it launches dailymail.co.uk, overseen by Andrew Hart (pictured), the managing director of Associated New Media.

2006: ANM launches metro.co.uk, a website designed to give Metro readers nationwide the opportunity to experience additional Metro moments - "bite-size information in a typically quirky and fun style" - throughout the day. The site has four different day-parts: morning, lunchtime, breaktime and after hours. Content will be changed to reflect the needs of readers at those particular times of the day.

Fast forward ...

2010: Initiatives to co-ordinate a move to subscription revenues on an industry-wide basis having failed, News International breaks ranks with a do-or-die strategy on The Times. On the streets, it offers a cut-down newsprint edition of the title, while demanding pay-per-view payments from all online readers.