The Internet and Journalism

The internet began life in 1970 as a multitude of separate networks that where operated mainly by researchers. These networks remained apart until 1990 when the World Wide Web was invented and the networks merged to form a simplified version of the internet as we know it. For the first time, the general public was granted access and a forum for freedom of speech was born.

Now, we have a more comprehensive understanding of the power of the internet. Millions go online everyday to upload and share information. Because of this the role that journalism plays has become even more significant. News is now more available than ever with advancing technology and the online world working together in synergy. Journalists now have the ability to record and publish news content in real-time.

It is estimated that 3 billion people around the world are connected to the internet. But now that there are so many people online producing and posting content there are more ‘citizen journalists’ than ever. In a respect, journalisms role in the media has been questioned. Is true journalistic content being lost in the plethora of information available to the public? Many important news stories in the past 10 years have been broken by the public through facebook and twitter. For example, in the case of the death of Whitney Houston. A tweet questioning the icons tragic death was posted well ahead of any official sources. It wasn’t until an hour later that news sources began to release content.

This example, and others like this, show the sheer power of social media and its role in journalism. There is now a tremendous pressure for journalists to be first with news stories and online content allows for immediate response from readers. Because of this, many question the future of journalism and its ability to keep up. It appears that only time will tell.