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  1. 1. Introduction By the turn of the century, information, including access to the Internet, will be the basis for personal, economic, and political advancement. The popular name for the Internet is the information superhighway. Whether you want to find the latest financial news, browse through library catalogs, exchange information with colleagues, or join in a lively political debate, the Internet is the tool that will take you beyond telephones, faxes, and isolated computers to a burgeoning networked information frontier. The Internet supplements the traditional tools you use to gather information, Data Graphics, News and correspond with other people. Used skillfully, the Internet shrinks the world and brings information, expertise, and knowledge on nearly every subject imaginable straight to your computer. History The Internet originated in the late 1960s when the United States Defense Department developed ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency network), an experimental network of computers designed to withstand partial outages such as a bomb attack. The agency sought to create a web of computers that could continue to communicate with each other, even if some of the computers were disabled. In the mid-1980s, when desktop computer workstations became increasingly popular, organizations wanted to connect their local area networks (LANs) to ARPAnet. If computers could link together and share resources, everyone would benefit. To help speed the connections, the National Science Foundation (NSF) established five supercomputing centers in 1986, creating the NSFnet backbone. NSFnet continued to grow, and more and more countries around the world connected to this Internet backbone. 1991 was a big year for the Internet: The National Research and Education Network (NREN) were founded and the World Wide Web was released. The Internet is still dominated by scientists and other academics, but begins to attract public interest. With the release of the Mosaic Web browser in 1993 and Netscape in 1994, interest in and use of the World Wide Web exploded. More and more communities become wired, enabling direct connections to the Internet. In 1995, the U.S. federal government relinquished its management role in the Internet and NSFnet reverted back to being a research network. Interconnected network providers are strong enough now to support U.S. backbone traffic on the Internet. What is an Internet? 1. The Internet is a global network of networks.
  2. 2. 2. People and organizations connect into the Internet so they can access its massive store of shared information. 3. The Internet is an inherently participative medium. Anybody can publish information or create new services. 4. The Internet is a cooperative endeavor -- no organization is in charge of the net. Digital Medium Digital media (compared to analog media) is electronic media that works on digital codes. Examples of Digital Medium  Cell phones  Compact disc  Digital video  Digital television  E-book  Internet  and many interactive media The Internet is a large group of computers that are connected to each other. The Internet is used to send information quickly between computers around the world. It has millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and government networks and websites, which together carry many different kinds of information (facts and details) and services. So in other words, the Internet is a network of networks. Internet is a digital medium. Computer – as a Communication Medium Technology has changed human life. One school of thought says that computer and other modern technologies have benefited humanity but the other school of thought is that man has become subservient to technology which is bringing more disadvantages than benefits. If man had kept technology under its control rather than becoming subservient to it than it could have been taken as a blessing but in the present circumstances it is getting dangerous day by day. Regarding Journalism and Mass Communication, computer is playing a very big role. In Pakistan and all over the world almost all newspapers and magazines have their websites where one can read their news, columns and editorials etc. now you don’t have to buy a newspaper and you can get information not just from your national but also from international newspapers. In
  3. 3. this online journalism, some newspapers and magazines have their whole newspapers and magazine available on their websites. Similarly broadcasting services also give their news on their websites where you can also listen to their bulletins and broadcasts. Communication has various types and forms. Two important among them are one-one i.e. interpersonal communication and the other one is one-much i.e. mass communication. Computer does not fall in one category as a medium of communication. You can chat on it with various people at a time and now even voice chat and cameras are also available which makes your chat almost like face to face communication. Then you can read newspapers and other informative websites which are available to millions of people at the same time, this quality makes it a mass medium. A computer remains your personal until and unless your work on it benefits you alone but when you put something on it in the form of a blog or a website which is accessible to anyone who wants then it becomes a mass medium of communication. Online Journalism Online journalism refers to news content produced and/or distributed via the Internet, particularly material created by journalists who work for mainstream market driven news organizations. While blogs and other emerging forms of online news communication are widely acknowledged as significantly influencing mainstream news content both on and offline, they are considered here a distinct phenomenon and treated under the category of alternative media. The Online News Association, founded in 1999, is the largest organization representing online journalists, with more than 1,700 members whose principal livelihood involves gathering or producing news for digital presentation Features:  Real time: News can be published in real time. Online Journalists can provide updating breaking news and events as they happen.  Shifted time: Contents published online can be archived so that viewers can read them at a later time.  Multimedia: Online Journalists can include images, music, sound, video etc.  Interactivity: o Online Journalists can add hyperlinks to their writings. These links relate their writings to other contents related to their subjects. o Readers or participants can respond instantly to materials published by online journalists in the form of email, comment, and threaded discussion. With the magic of the web, now anyone with an opinion can be a writer. The authority that newspaper journalists had and the power governments wielded on the media, in part, have been subverted. As often as not, non-professional writers are getting more attention than the professional ones on the internet. The range of people who write have enormously widened, and
  4. 4. so did the range of people who read. The web connects people all around the globe, allowing them to access an interminable stream of information. This mutual relationship between writers and viewers makes it possible for blogging, one of the most inventive and resourceful online communication methods, to survive. For the past years, blog has played the leading role in the history of online journalism. Blog is like a local cafeteria where people gather and talk about their lives with their friends, giving and receiving knowledge on travel, cosmetics, restaurants, fashion, music, etc. It is very accessible and inexpensive, but you get tons of information on every aspect of our lives. As an online communication method, blog extends the scope of people we can share information with, from our close friends to people around the world. Now, with just one mouse click, we can find people who have things in common with us, who have the information we have been looking for, or to whom we can talk about our interests as many as possible. Advantages 1. Democratic Medium - take up those stories which mainstream media does not covers. 2. Feedback and comments - encourages 2 way communications. 3. Huge Space 4. High reach 5. Low production cost 6. Archiving stories for references. 7. Fast - story uploaded as soon as anything happens 8. Multi-media facilities - video/ audio/chats /opinion polls /blogs /discussion forms - for making news website more informative. 9. Help in posting mainstream main media to take up stories which are buried due to economic/political pressures 10. Search based - user can get the news/info which he/she wants. Disadvantages 1. Not credible medium - no verification of facts 2. Only for those who can understand English 3. Ethical Issues. 4. No gatekeeper involved 5. Information overloads 6. In some countries, computer with net is still a luxury - e.g. tier III and IV cities The realm of blogging has grown tremendously in the past few years. Blogging, with its many benefits as a tool of online journalism, has affected not only the social and political aspects of the world, but also our personal lives. Blog has facilitated the fast flow of information and made journalism more accessible than ever. Although some dangerous consequences may ensue
  5. 5. (as all other online journalism methods have faced unexpected challenges throughout their expansion,) it is certain that blogging brought drastic evolution to online journalism. Conclusion In conclusion, Today's society is in the middle of a technological boom. People can either choose to take advantage of this era, or simply let it pass them by. The Internet is a very powerful tool. It has many advantages; however, people need to be extremely aware of the disadvantages as well. Internet:  provides access to a global information system  makes it possible for many to access  makes it easy to publish information  presents some serious legal issues  is impossible to manage centrally