Journalism on the Internet


The common forms of media in today\'s world each have both advantages and
disadvantages. The Internet has been around for an almost equal amount of time
as most of them, but only recently has it become a popular way of retrieving
information. The Internet takes the best of all other medium and combines them
into a very unique form. The Internet is the best way to retrieve information.
This combination of paper publishing, TV, radio, telephones, and mail is the
future of communications. The internet has several types of journalism which can
be defined into three sections. One section is online magazines, online
broadcasting, and other online services. The next group is resource files and
web pages. The third is discussion groups/forums and e-mail. I will investigate
these areas of the net, showing the advantages and disadvantages of each in
comparison to the conventional forms.

In order to understand what all these topics are you must first understand
what the internet is. The simple answer is that it is computers all over the
globe connected together by telephone wires. It was first made by the military,
"No one owns the Internet", to have a network with no centre. That way it could
never be destroyed by nuclear war. Since then, universities have used it and it
has evolved into what it is today. It is a library that contains mail, stories,
news advertising, and just about everything else. "In a sense, freenets are a
literacy movement for computer mediated communication today, as public libraries
were to reading for an earlier generation." Now that the term "the net" is
understood lets look at some sections of the net.

An online magazine is a computer that lets users access it through the net.
This computer stores one or more magazines which users can read. "PC magazine
and other magazines are available on the Web" "Maclean\'s Magazine and Canadian
Business online; and Reuters\' Canadian Newsclips." This form is much better that
conventional publishing, "we are using the online service to enhance the print
magazine", for several reasons. It is environmentally safe, "Publish without
Paper", most are free, "$50 a month on CompuServe", you can get any article from
any year at the touch of a button, and you can search for key words. "Search
engines make it easy pinpointing just the information you need". The articles
don\'t have space limits so you will get a specially edited full story version
(depending on the reporter) and other articles that didn\'t make the print. It is
easy to compare the story with another journalists view, or get the story from a
journalist from another country. This way, the reader can make informed
decisions on anything, without bias. A few people complain that there is too
much information to receive, "mass jumble", but there are filter programs that
will cut the information to any set amount. CNN online is a broadcast web page
(another computer). CNN not only has the articles to read but video, and sound
clips too. Anyone can get up to the minute news, and reports. "We will send a
reporter to the game, who will interview people like the coach and uplink the
story while the game is being played." This is an excellent addition to TV. It
is a mix of TV and publishing. TV has a schedule to keep and might cut out parts
simply for time but there is no time limit online. Also, because it is
interactive, users will remember the information longer than if they watched TV.
An online service is a web page that sells something. It is easy to order
anything, from flowers to even airline tickets. "...opportunity to buy tickets
through TicketMaster." But even this has problems, "the Internet is new and many
possible types of fraud must be dealt with," but the solution is software,
"Secure Courier...a secure means of transferring financial transactions". This
service is the home shopping, catalogue, and printed flier replacement. Their
advantage is that you can buy directly, or skip them if you wish, unlike TV.

Web pages on the internet are computers that are dedicated to letting
people access them. Many companies have a web page that offers help to customers,
news, services, product updates, advice from experts, even "information on
elections, government programs, and so forth." "These new, online services
include daily industry news, classified, a directory of suppliers, an
interactive forum, and tons of reference material, including government
documents, surveys, speeches, papers, and statistics." Even home businesses can
have a page and advertise their products or services. The only other medium