Internet news holds no accountability
A decline in circulation, advertisement and revenues is fueling the newspaper industry with uncertainty.
Closures of major papers have been rampant, including the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and the shift exclusively to the web by the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
Closer to home, the Houston Chronicle has branched into the world of the Internet with http://www.chron.com. Chron.com is updated daily on the web.
Speculation on the future of news media has been focusing on detaching from print and integrating it with the web.
The reinvention of journalism includes online publications, video and audio news, podcasts, reader reactions and blogs. The New York Times online, USA Today and The Washington Post all maintain a significant presence on the web.
The Hearst Corporation, which owns the Houston Chronicle, provides 15 daily newspapers on one Web site at http://www.hearst.com.
The Hearst News Service is an amalgamation of the highlights from each Hearst newspaper, including the San Antonio Express-News, San Francisco Chronicle, Albany Times Union as well as contributions from its own reporters. The service includes news, features, business, sports and profiles of personalities from around the nation.
Joseph Schumpeter discusses the process of ‘creative destruction’ in which new technology obliterates the old, in his book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, citing the diminishing newspaper industry.
Also, Sonia Arrison, journalist for TechNewsWorld discusses the obsolescence of print news with the advent of the web.
‘The loss of print newspapers is akin to the loss of the horse and buggy,’ Arrison wrote in TechNewsWorld.com.
She also seems to think it’s not a bad thing.
‘The transition that’s taking place in the news publishing industry – from print to online – is a healthy step in technology-driven evolution ‘hellip; the Internet offers the potential for broader and deeper news reporting,’ she writes.
Capitalists are scrambling to improvise their initial plans for a transition from print to online publication, making it as financially harmless as possible.
Some politicians suggested the federal government bailing out the newspapers much like banks and auto manufacturers.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted the federal government to get involved with the San Francisco Chronicle issue as well.
‘We must ensure that our policies enable our news organizations to survive and to engage in the newsgathering and analysis that the American people expect,’ she wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
There are fears this would inhibit the innovation and autonomy needed in journalism.
The face of the media is being reconstructed. It might seem just a modern tool of relaying information and nothing more, but media is a significant part of the American spirit of freedom and democracy.
Sacrificing integrity in the transition from print to web is a real danger.’
Print news has a vetting process, accountability, and permanence many web sources simply do not.’ Although newspapers on the web have similar content to their print editions, weblogs and organizational Web sites are frequently devoid of accountability, and readers may not know or recognize the difference.’
While most people have joined the bandwagon of web journalism, some still recognize the printing press and its accomplishments enough to not allow its demise.
Anousheh Kehar is an architecture sophomore and may be reached at [email protected].