Impacts of Internet on Journalism (WEEK 1)

internet_freddie

He is online: A man is using his laptop and smart phone to do researches.

Internet has been connected to the world intensively for only six decades since 1957 but it’s still changing the way we communicate. The Internet is a global system of inter-connected computer networks, when the data being exchanged – connection, or, communication starts to make. This short article will be mainly discussed how Internet impacts in a journalism way.

It took 40 years for the Internet to be developed into a public service. There wasn’t even any proper ‘modern’ technology for journalists at the end of 1980s – there were no mobile phones, no computers, and no commercial internet either. Paper press and television were the main mediums which uses limited space or time to tell people what happened those days. If breaking news happened, it would be very inefficient to spread them out.

After the Internet became domestically applied, there was no doubt that it brought much more convenience. Internet is one of the medium through which news, images, opinions, discussions are showed simultaneously in one platform. The Oklahoma City bombing which took place on 19th April 1995, was the first online breaking news. People started to seek for information online as never before. The media also acts quickly. Within an hour the website was filled with discussions, information, images and maps.  Internet has becoming one of the most vital mediums to record news since then. “Broadcast is no longer the only medium for breaking news. We don’t have to stop a press the replate… we can and did break and update and expand a story on a moments’ notice – numerous times in a single hour.” Bruce Siceoff, the editor of NandO.net, website of the News and Observer in Ralegh, South California – launched it in 1994.

Digital journalism allows connections and discussions at levels that print can not offer. People can comment on articles and start discussion boards to discuss news stories. Before the Internet, spontaneous discussion between readers who had never met was hardly possible. People’s active participation is a big portion of digital journalism. Internet also means unlimited space. Hypertext links create a branching structure that direct to the related information. For instance, clicking ‘read more’ to load another relevant page, which enables people to ‘dig’ into attractive stories and topics.

Now we are living in a digital world where numerous information accumulates exponentially. However, online information is not always genuine. Virus, fake news, rumours appear, as well as misleading information, that should be judged by ourselves. Because of the easy circulation on Internet, journalists also should take more responsible for the truth of the information, which means carefully check the sources of news before reprinting to their own websites. Mark Thompson, the former director-general of the BBC, said “We would rather be right than first.”

Internet helps us gain information quickly, it is changing the way we communicate to the world. Learning to use the advantages and avoid the disadvantages, is another step for civilization.

(Total words: 489)

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