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.


  1. Although there are many negative aspects of online journalism including the lack of a gatekeeper I think readers will continue to make the switch from print to online. There are a number of reasons for this switch but some of the most important are convenience and timeliness. A person can access news online from almost anywhere at any time and he can view what is happening in the news in a matter of seconds. Even though I agree that the internet is hurting journalism particularly in the areas of correctness and credibility I unfortunately don’t think a lot of readers are concerned with this. There are people who care and are aware of what the internet is doing to journalism but I feel like the majority of these people are journalists. Those who aren’t journalists get their news quickly and effortlessly online and probably don’t think twice about it being credible and correct.

  2. While the Internet is a great place to get breaking news and important information, you're still waiting to get the full details of an event or incident for several hours. I agree that for journalists now it is more important to be first with the news rather than correct and last. Most see it as gaining recognition and being the best. But I would rather have the information once it is fully researched and correct. I agree with Mallory about the fact that people will still continue to make the switch to online from print. With more and more social media networking sites working with the news sites, people find news to be more accessible online. So until we can come up with a happy "medium" (pun intended), people will be fine with sometimes incorrect breaking news.