Journalism on the Internet The common forms of media in today's world each have both advantages and disadvantages. The Internet has been around for an almost equal amount of time as most of them, but only recently has it become a popular way of retrieving information. The Internet takes the best of all other medium and combines them into a very unique form. The Internet is the best way to retrieve information. This combination of paper publishing, TV, radio, telephones, and mail is the future of communications. The internet has several types of journalism which can be defined into three sections.

One section is online magazines, online broadcasting, and other online services. The next group is resource files and web pages. The third is discussion groups / forums and e-mail. I will investigate these areas of the net, showing the advantages and disadvantages of each in comparison to the conventional forms. In order to understand what all these topics are you must first understand what the internet is.

The simple answer is that it is computers all over the globe connected together by telephone wires. It was first made by the military,' No one owns the Internet', to have a network with no centre. That way it could never be destroyed by nuclear war. Since then, universities have used it and it has evolved into what it is today.

It is a library that contains mail, stories, news advertising, and just about everything else. 'In a sense, free nets are a literacy movement for computer mediated communication today, as public libraries were to reading for an earlier generation. ' Now that the term 'the net' is understood lets look at some sections of the net. An online magazine is a computer that lets users access it through the net. This computer stores one or more magazines which users can read. 'PC magazine and other magazines are available on the Web' 'Maclean's Magazine and Canadian Business online; and Reuters' Canadian News clips.

' This form is much better that conventional publishing, 'we are using the online service to enhance the print magazine', for several reasons. It is environmentally safe, 'Publish without Paper', most are free, '$50 a month on CompuServe', you can get any article from any year at the touch of a button, and you can search for key words. 'Searchengines make it easy pinpointing just the information you need'. The articles don't have space limits so you will get a specially edited full story version (depending on the reporter) and other articles that didn't make the print. It is easy to compare the story with another journalists view, or get the story from a journalist from another country. This way, the reader can make informed decisions on anything, without bias.

A few people complain that there is too much information to receive, 'mass jumble', but there are filter programs that will cut the information to any set amount. CNN online is a broadcast web page (another computer). CNN not only has the articles to read but video, and sound clips too. Anyone can get up to the minute news, and reports.

'We will send a reporter to the game, who will interview people like the coach and up link the story while the game is being played. ' This is an excellent addition to TV. Itis a mix of TV and publishing. TV has a schedule to keep and might cut out parts simply for time but there is no time limit online. Also, because it is interactive, users will remember the information longer than if they watched TV.

An online service is a web page that sells something. It is easy to order anything, from flowers to even airline tickets. '... opportunity to buy tickets through TicketMaster. ' But even this has problems, 'the Internet is new and many possible types of fraud must be dealt with,' but the solution is software,'s e cure Courier... a secure means of transferring financial transactions'. This service is the home shopping, catalogue, and printed flier replacement. Their advantage is that you can buy directly, or skip them if you wish, unlike TV.

Web pages on the internet are computers that are dedicated to letting people access them. Many companies have a web page that offers help to customers, news, services, product updates, advice from experts, even 'information on elections, government programs, and so forth. ' 'These new, online services include daily industry news, classified, a directory of suppliers, an interactive forum, and tons of reference material, including government documents, surveys, speeches, papers, and statistics. ' Even home businesses can have a page and advertise their products or services. The only other medium that comes close to what a web page can do is the help telephone lines, but a webpage is much more useful. Resource files are like a library of information.

By using a search program a user can find files on any topic. They can get, digital books, reports, pictures, statistics, university essays, sound files, video, and even programs, 'You can even download the federal budget simulator'. However, there is always going to be the possibility of false information, but because its so easy to speak your mind on the net, this bad information is quickly found and deleted. 'Established sources such as universities, libraries, and government agencies can be considered reasonably reliable... Then comes the free-for-all. ' 'You must be a critical viewer of both the source and the content " The final area is discussion groups or forums.

There is a forum for just about any topic. 'The overall advantage is the spread of ideas, information, and thoughts between people who would not otherwise correspond. The Result is a free flow if ideas with little moderation or control'. A forum is a mail group that allow people all over the world discuss a topic, trade information, etc. ' everything from uploaded works by Canadian artists to chats on hockey and politics. ' Each forum has many users, each with their own point of view. Anyone can talk, bias or not, loving or hating the topic.

'There are no rules about what can or can not go on the Internet. Legal standards are almost impossible to establish and even less likely to be enforced on a global link,'. However, this free flow of information can cause problems. These are evident in adult forums and the EFF. The Electronic Freedom Foundation is a group of people that want all information to be available to anyone.

This information can be anything such as; how to build a car bombs, atomic bombs, working computer virus code, government files, UFO info, hacking, cracking (copying software), and peaking (free telephone calls). This information is illegal in some countries, and can be harmful or fatal if used. It is still available because of the freedom of information act. The information has always been available, but only lately has it become this easy to get. Adult forums and web pages have created a stir in the government.

There are explicit pictures, novels, catalog, stories, mail, and even child porn on the net. The government has set out to stop the child porn but allowed the other adult material to pass by. It would be improper for a young child to access this information. To stop this, parents can install programs to lock out these web pages, but a knowledgeable child can still get access to them. The government is currently working on this problem and setting up laws to protect the people who want to be protected, while not infringing on the rights of the people who want access to this information. As you can see, the Internet has the potential to be the worlds #1 medium.

With the ever expanding Web and a growing number of users, this is only a matter of time. Journalism on the Internet is only one of many things that will be available through the net. As these technologies advance, barriers will be broken, rules set, and the world's knowledge will be a phone call and a mouse click away. Footnotes in Order Bill Kempthorne, 'Internet, So What?', The Computer Paper, September, (1995), p. 20 Trueman, 'The 1995 Canadian Internet Awards', The Computer Paper, September, (1995), p. 94 Michael J. Miller, 'Where Do I Want to Go Today', PC Magazine, March 28, (1995), P. 75 Sorelle Saidman, 'Online Canadian Content Expanding despite Prodigy Setback', Toronto Computes, November, (1995), p. 9 Doug Bennet, 'Confessions of an online publisher', Toronto Computes, November (1995), p. 35'The Internet Comes of Age' PC Magazine, May 30, (1995), P. 19 Casey Abell, 'Letters', PC Magazine, May 30, (1995), P. 19 Rick Ayre and Don Will mott, 'The Internet Means Business', Pc Magazine, May 16, (1995), p. 197 Bill Kempthorne, 'Internet, So What?', The Computer Paper, September, (1995), p. 20 Chris Carder, 'Sports on the Internet a winner', Toronto Computes, November, (1995), P. 98 Chris Carder, 'Sports on the Internet a winner', Toronto Computes, November, (1995), P. 98 Patrick McKenna, 'Netscape's Digital Envelope For Internet Transactions', The Computer Paper, September, (1995), p. 90 Patrick McKenna, 'Netscape's Digital Envelope For Internet Transactions', The Computer Paper, September, (1995), p. 90 Michael J. Miller, 'Where Do I Want to Go Today', PC Magazine, March 28, (1995), P. 75 Doug Bennet, 'Confessions of an online publisher', Toronto Computes, November (1995), p. 37 Michael J. Miller, 'Where Do I Want to Go Today', PC Magazine, March 28, (1995), P. 75 Bill Kempthorne, 'Internet, So What?', The Computer Paper, September, (1995), p. 21 Bill Kempthorne, 'Internet, So What?', The Computer Paper, September, (1995), p. 21 Bill Kempthorne, 'Internet, So What?', The Computer Paper, September, (1995), p. 21 Sorelle Saidman, 'Online Canadian Content Expanding despite Prodigy Setback', Toronto Computes, November, (1995), p. 9 Bill Kempthorne, 'Internet, So What?', The Computer Paper, September, (1995), p. 22.