Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Internet: A Journalist's Buzzkill

As of June 2008, over 70 percent of the United States population has access to the Internet, according to Internet World Stats. While it is a blessing to media and researchers to have access to a plethora of information, the widespread Internet usage has put a hold on journalists' divine interest in finding out the correct and latest information. Basically, posting the information first has become more crucial than having it all correct.

Recently, The Atlantic highlighted this issue with an article about media insiders commenting on the Internet hurting journalism. Nearly two-thirds of the most prominent national news media members agreed that the Internet hurts journalism more than helps it.

Reasons listed in the article of the Internet's hurt include a change in online readers' needs as compared to print readers, and also poll about the correctness of the coverage of Barack Obama.

As a future news media outlet, I agree that the Internet has created a deficiency of news. Initially, though the Internet makes it easier for consumers to access news, it does not always provide detailed information about they news they want. This produces a skeptical view of online news, making consumers always question its legitimacy.

Additionally, while finding sources online might be easy, the Internet also produces a lazy gateway of how to interview those that you need to cite in news stories. Incorrect information might also lie in the background path when researching sources for stories, and could create a rift when writing interview questions.

Read the entire article here.

"Sri Lanka rejects UN call for ceasefire in war against Tamil Tigers"

On Tuesday, April 7, 2009, the Guardian posted an article about Sri Lanka's government denying the United Nations' call for a ceasefire in the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The government declined the United Nations' request because they said they would not let the opposition leaders escape. The fight between the government and the LTTE has lasted 25 years and taken over 70,000 lives.

Sri Lankan military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara warned that even if the military conquers the LTTE, it would take years to "finish off the sleeper cells," making the end unforeseeable. The military also commented on their priority of eradicating terrorism from the country.

Walter Kaelin, representative of U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-moon, said that the army's interference with the LTTE's civilians would cause a human "bloodbath", and that "this must by all means be avoided."

This article posed initially because of my curiosity in international relations, specifically in relations among nations in eastern Asia.

I also gave this article attention because of my love for 33-year-old musical artist Maya Arulpragasam, aka M.I.A.. Maya's father, Arular Arulpragasam, was a founder of LTTE, and Maya spent the first years of her life hiding from the Sri Lankan government. Her music holds a reflection of the terrorist opposition in Sri Lanka.

Read the entire article here.

Oh My Blog.

In 2008, the Observer wrote a blogging review of those they viewed as "the world's 50 most powerful blogs." From celebrity gossip with Mario Lavandeira's Perezhilton to the most up-to-date news on the Drudge Report, the list surfaces a variety of blog content to all savvy-aged followers.

Though these blogs cover interests far and wide--endeavoring with scandals, technological innovations, taste tests, and environmental issues--to suit readers with more specific tastes, I feel that some of those listed were a bit ridiculous, and not professional enough for my liking as a journalist.

Take Icanhascheezburger for instance. Ranking ninth on the list, the site entails pictures of cats with humorous captions. While this is great for a few laughs, there is no news or cultural value among the entire blog except a mockery of Generation X. To me, blogging should be used to document our age of history, not pointless nothings.

On the flipside, some of these listed blogs do serve a clearer, news-related purpose. Michelle Malkin, a political columnist and author from the right, found her fame with blogging. In a profession with a predominance of men, she details her take on what Democrats are doing wrong with a conservative bias. The Blogging Age has made Malkin "one of the most influential women online," according to the Observer article.

While most of these blogs are of interest to occasional browsers, the bloggers use strong biases and often write of topics too particular for a person uneducated on the subject matter to follow. It is difficult for me to see how this list is more popular than all other blogs, but I suppose it is because of how often they are clicked and shared.

See the entire list and article here.