Called the Online Publishers Association, the organization touts itself as "the voice of high-quality publishers online." The group, which announces its formation and hopes to open its site today (www.online-publishers.org), mostly comprises digital properties sponsored by old media elite.
The 11 founding companies are Viacom's CBS MarketWatch, Conde Nast Publications' CondeNet, Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN.com, International Data Group's The Industry Standard, Knight Ridder Interactive, New York Times Co.'s New York Times Digital, Gannett Co.'s usatoday.com, The Washington Post Co.'s washingtonpost.com and Dow Jones & Co.'s wsj.com and new-media brands CNET Networks and Salon.com.
Part of OPA's mission is to separate the pretenders from sites that adhere to standard journalistic principles, according to Michael Zimbalist, a former executive at failed dot-com ePod Corp. and at United Media, who serves as acting executive director. OPA will work with other groups to strengthen its relationship with the ad community, the public, the press and the government.