University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
The Cyber Revolution of News
In the modern day, conventional news systems have continued to prosper. Television and newspaper media provide daily, hourly, and even on the minute updates on issues that matter. Information can take a giant leap from one side of the globe to the other instantly in the form of words, images, and videos. However, according to Neil Postman and Steve Powers in their article, All the World in Pictures, the “recreations” that are aired on television distort the tangibility of the information subjected to the general population. As the audience craves entertainment in “moving pictures” alongside “signaling” music, the media corporations succumb to over-dramatization of events. As consumers desperately search for a new plug for news dissemination, one outlet stand as pre-eminent. Online news networks provide detailed articles apace with other forms of media such as images, videos, and audio recordings. Not only has the online world merged newspapers and television into one being, it is upholding a platform in which individuals from across the world can voice their input on an issue. With advancements in technology especially in the “smart gadgets” sector, news is easily accessible in the palm of one’s hand and this leaves many with the question, are online news networks eradicating the need of conventional news systems?
To answer this question one must first understand how news is distributed in the online world as there are countless more competitors existing in “the web,” it is difficult to differentiate what is factual and indisputable.
Just as any consumer product “brand imaging” is everything. A corporation will go to any cost to gain awareness of their product. In the context of news, industry icons such as CNN and BBC have extended their pull into cyberspace by creating websites featuring the same news aired on television accompanied with detailed articles and sources. As consumers already trust these “Brands” for news output, it eliminates the need for sifting through multiple websites. In the midst of the cyber news revolution a whole “new market has emerged”(Barnhurst 9). To compete with the big players, private corporations and independent journalists have also setup shop in the world wide web. News is not only available on websites but can also be accessed through an “App” downloaded directly onto a device, this completely abolishes the searching process as all the user must do is enter the app. Other forms of dissemination include subscriptions which can be on a paid-membership basis, that automatically inform the user of news postings instantly by means such as email.
The internet provides a platform in which news can be portrayed without the pressure from television networks over ratings or publishing companies in regards to newspaper sales.
There are no time constraints in the internet unlike television where each segment is carefully selected depending on visual content. Online news uses images and other media as compliments to the article similar to a newspaper. This assures that the content being provided is tangible and evident, not distorted by random images or video clips to mask missing information. As online news has no physical significance there is no time delay. Updates and edits can be made on a moments notice without the excess paper and environmental damage posed by newspapers. As sources are usually noted as well, it gives the consumer the ability to take research into their own hands to get a better understanding of the issue. Better yet, the keywords of the news article can be punched into a search engine such as Google and expose a treasure chest of information not included in the original article.
The internet is a “major source of news and plays an important role in connecting individual members of society” (Kang 2). News corporations take advantage of this fact by allowing users to comment on the same webpage where the article is located. This creates discussion and debate a luxury only available in online news. The individual connectivity does not stop here. Most news corporations are active participants of “Micro Blogging” outlets such as Twitter. The company usually has an account on the blog site which constantly provides posts of news updates onto the news feeds of its followers. The followers in return can further circulate the news content by “re-tweeting” or “re-posting” the news article to their followers, vice-versa. This has created a system in which the origin is the news corporation which starts the “ball rolling” by propagating the issue leaving the consumers, or followers, the task of diffusing the news. In short, an update can now be online and viewable by millions of news consumers at once. The system exists “as a medium for public deliberation,”(Kang 4) something that a newspaper article or television news segment cannot provide.
Online news networks have taken a predominant roll in the news media industry. More and more individuals are treading away from traditional news sources such as television and newspapers which only provide either a distorted and dramatized television segment or a messy pile of papers lying in front of one’s doorstep. Online news is accessible by all as long as they have an internet connection. Individuals across the globe can participate in debates and discussion on a scale never seen before in the past. The question still remains as to wether online news networks can eradicate the need for traditional news sources? In terms of content and accessibility, online news prevail by a landmark. However, when speaking in terms of tradition or routine, television and newspapers may still have a foot hold. Some families and social groups see the news as a time to convene. Be it they muster together and watch news around the television or read the morning paper during breakfast the traditional sources have been taken as a time for social connection on a personal or local level. Online news networks may not have completely eradicated the need for traditional news outlets but have most certainly excelled in efficiency. Cyber news will continue to prosper as the age of technology moves forward.
Hong, Sounman. “Online News on Twitter: Newspapers’ Social Media Adoption and
their Online Readership.” The Economics of Digital Media Markets 0167-6252. Harvard University March 2012
Barhurst, Kevin. “Newspapers Experiment Online: Story Content After a Decade on the Web” Journalism 14.1 (2013): 3-21. E-Journals Web. 4 Dec. 2013
Kang, Hyunjin, et al. “Does Online News Reading And Sharing Shape Perceptions Of The Internet As A Place For Public Deliberations?.” Mass Communication And Society 16.4 (2013): 533-556. E-Journals. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.