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Battle Of Sources: Newspaper Vs Internet

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 1038 words Published: 4th May 2017

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For years, it started the day for millions: the thump of the newspaper hitting the door, or the window, or the neighbor’s dog. Along with a cup of coffee, maybe breakfast, the arrival of the morning paper meant the beginning of the daily grind. Fast-forward to present day. The evening paper, long extinct in cities with larger circulations, is still alive in smaller towns that have no morning edition. The argument is, with the internet so available to the masses, and, for the most part, providing free news, what is the future of the newspaper? Can it continue under these circumstances, or is it doomed to extinction?

The first know form of distributed written information began approximately five centuries ago in Europe. Merchants distributed newsletters written by hand containing information regarding the weather, economic conditions, wars and human-interest stories. In the late fifteenth century, brochures and pamphlets was distributed among the people, the material containing highly sensationalized stories and the current news events. (Newspaper: The History)

In the early 1800’s the development of continuous rolls of paper enhanced the original Gutenberg Press. This added efficiency of printing made the prices of printed goods more reasonable hence the term “penny press”. This phrase originated when newspaperman Benjamin Day dropped the price of his New York Sun to a penny a copy in 1833. Historians have accredited the “penny press” as the first true mass medium. (The Early History of Newspaper Publishing in New York State )

The internet was originally built for the U.S. military to allow a community of computers to share information over distance. It’s generally accepted that the goal of the internet in its later development was as much for research purposes as for military applications. (Internet Society (ISOC) All About The Internet: History of the Internet)

On October 29, 1969, at 10:30 p.m., UCLA engineering professor Leonard Kleinrock and student Charley Kline attempted to send a message from one Honeywell computer to another computer unit 600 kilometers away at Stanford Research Institute in Palo Alto. The connection speed was 50 kb/s. (Internet Society (ISOC) All About The Internet: History of the Internet)

The first message was supposed to be the word “login,” but the system crashed as they typed in the letter “g.” The first message, then, was “lo.” The researchers were able to complete the message one hour later. And so the ARPANET, the original name of the internet, was born. The term internet was not created until 1982.

Rupert Murdoch CEO of The News Corporation into one of the largest and most influential media groups in the world described the revenue from his stable of newspapers as “rivers of gold.” But, said Murdoch several years later, “sometimes rivers dry up.” He also added “if cable and satellite broadcasting, as well as the internet, had come along first, newspapers as we know them probably would never have existed.” (Plunkett)

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The increasing use of the internet’s search function, through search engines such as Google, has also changed the habits of readers. Instead of looking for general news events, much like how newspapers present the news, readers are seeking particular writers, blogs or sources of information for specific news, making the agglomeration of newspapers irrelevant. “Power is shifting to the individual journalist from the news outlet with more people seeking out names through search, e-mail, blogs and social media,” the industry publication Editor HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editor_&_Publisher”&HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editor_&_Publisher” Publisher noted in summarizing a recent study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism foundation. (Internet Overtakes Newspapers As News Outlet)

In early days, the ability to distribute information was sorely restricted to big company with printing presses or broadcast mechanisms. With the internet, thousands of people are able to communicate directly with others through blogs or instant message services. But the search engine experience has left some newspaper proprietors cold. “The aggregators and plagiarists will soon have to pay a price for the co-opting of our content,” Rupert Murdoch told the World Media Summit in Beijing, China. “If we do not take advantage of the current movement toward paid content, it will be the content creators – the people in this hall – who will pay the ultimate price and the content kleptomaniacs who triumph.” (Internet Overtakes Newspapers As News Outlet)

Critics of the newspaper as a news source argue that today’s newspapers may be visually different from their predecessors a century ago, but they have made little change to adapt to social changes. The technology revolution has meant that readers accustomed to waiting for a daily newspaper can now receive up-to-the-minute updates from web portals, bloggers and new services such as Twitter. The expanding reach of broadband internet access means such updates have become the standard for many users. (Kamiya)

The fall of the newspaper industry is not global. In some countries, such as India, the newspaper is still more popular than internet and broadcast media. Even where the industry is failing, in North America and Europe, there have been recent success stories, such as the rise of free newspapers, like papers targeted towards the Hispanic market, local weekly shoppers. But these new ways of making profit, such as that from newspapers’ web sites, are often a fraction of the revenue generated by the previous advertisement- and circulation-driven revenue streams, and so newspapers have been forced to cut their expenses while simultaneously trying to reach new users. With revenues plummeting, many newspapers have forced to lay off employees, slashed news bureaus and journalists, while still trying to publish compelling content. (Kamiya)


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