Online News: a step forward for journalism?
Whilst sitting at my desk with a steamy cup of coffee and staring at my computer, I’ve just found out about David Cameron’s latest economic cuts, and Eastender’s next big storyline, all in one go.
Yes, the Internet is a vast realm of information and an exciting platform for communication, but are we being overloaded with wishy-washy content with no real substance, and forgetting the journalism we once relied on found in newspapers?
Online journalism is a tricky concept. Some believe it’s no different to newspaper journalism, except the whole process is quicker and more audience-accessible. Whilst others see it as a whirlpool of blogs, wikis and forums written by a bunch of nobodies.
Sure, it has its advantages. The audience can actually participate with the telling of the news, and voice their own opinions. Time and space are also no longer constraints; a breaking news story in England for example, can be read by someone in Canada almost immediately whilst sat in the comfort of their own home.
With no limits on space, the journalist can add as many layers to the story as he wants, giving a much better context.
As good as all this sounds, you have to be very careful when trusting information from the web. I know what you’re thinking – newspapers aren’t exactly renowned for their truth-telling skills and accuracy; but they do have to adhere to a certain code of practice. The freedom and accessibility of the internet can actually be a hindrance in this way, as anybody, anywhere can upload a story and pull it off as the truth.
Without a doubt, the best thing about getting information from the web is the choice. With a vast array of news outlets and blogs, you become like a child in a sweet shop. No longer do you have to accept a single point of view as the truth, but you can absorb a range of outlooks on any one particular issue.
Whether you prefer starting your morning off at the breakfast table reading the headlines of your favourite newspaper, or clicking from story to story whilst sat in the office; there will always be a market for attention-grabbing news. Let’s face it; we’re living in an age of technology, where web interactivity is now a routine daily process for many of us. Instead of competing with the internet, newspapers should acknowledge its power and embrace it. After all, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
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