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Feb 03, 1998 07:51 AM
by M K Ramadoss

Hi, Here is a good writeup on Internet. It will, hopefully open up the eyes
of those blind to what is happening in the Internet world, also hopefully
make anyone who is adopting osterich attitude to lift their head and see
for themselves what is going on. Can Theosophy use Internet? Surely yes.
Need creative ideas. All feedback is welcome.


                        Clinton Scandal -- Coffin
                        Nail for Traditional Media?

                        Jesse Berst, Editorial Director
                        ZDNet AnchorDesk

                        Back in 1980, a scrappy cable-televsion
              news show called CNN was launched. At the time, its
              ambition -- to beat network TV news -- seemed
              impossibly presumptuous. Naive. Laughable. After all,
              the networks had spent decades perfecting their
              formulas. They had it all locked up. The talent. The
              credibility. The resources.

              Or so they thought. What they didnít realize was how
              locked in they were. To airing news only at certain
              times. To squeezing it into limited time periods. To
              playing it safe. CNN faithfully exploited those
              limitations, year after year.

              But it took a national crisis -- the bombing of Libya in
              1984 -- to showcase CNNís round-the-clock advantage.
              To boost its credibility. And to get viewers hooked.
              Overnight, cable subscriptions skyrocketed -- driven by
              people who wanted access to CNN.

              If you want to know the future of the Web news biz, just
              look at CNNís past. Web news is following the same
              path. Only faster.

              The Clinton sex scandal supplies all the evidence. It
              was a story made in Web media heaven: Too complex
              for a 90-second TV report. Too fast-breaking for print
              newspapers. And too titillating for the public to ignore.
              People flocked to the Internet in record numbers. At
              Fox News Online, the Clinton scandal generated more
              traffic than the death of Princess Diana. At AP Online,
              the scandal outran the Super Bowl 3-to-1. At CNN
              Interactive, it contributed to a tenfold hike in traffic in
              one day. And the Washington Postís Web site was hit
              so hard, it had to add extra servers.

              That is not to say the online news was always
              accurate. Plenty of people argue the coverage was
              reckless, at best. But everyone agrees that the Web
              drove the media frenzy. Because Web news
              organizations exploited their five advantages:

                 1.Speed. News delivered when it happens -- not
                   when the paper is printed. And it doesnít have to
                   be videotaped, edited and aired -- just posted to
                   a server.
                 2.Space. Canít squeeze in details? No problem,
                   just link to another page.
                 3.Cost. No costly newsprint. No delivery trucks or
                   newsstands. No TV studios to operate. No
                   satellites to rent.
                 4.Interactivity. Newsgroups, chat rooms and
                   other discussion forums offer an instant soap
                   box. And an audience.
                 5.Open all night. It is never too late to break a
                   story on the Internet.

              The Libya bombing offered CNN its big break, but it
              wasnít until the Persian Gulf War seven years later that
              the company hit big time. And so it will be for Web
              news. Before it can become world-class, Web news
              must overcome deficiencies:

                   Visuals. Television will win this one,
                   hands-down, until streaming technology
                   improves. And bandwidth problems are solved.
                   Access. Online access must pass critical
                   mass, something I predict for the end of next
                   Credibility. The Internet has to shed its
                   reputation as a digital rumor mill.

              How often did you check the Web for new details on
              the Clinton scandal? Which sites did the best job? Do
              you have more or less confidence today in the Web
              news media than a month ago? Scroll to the bottom of
              this page and send me a TalkBack message. Iíll post
              some of the best responses beneath this column. Then
              jump over to Jesseís Berst Alerts forum for instant
              interaction with other AnchorDesk readers.

              Eighteen years ago, CNN was nothing. Today, it is
              arguably the most powerful news organization in the
              world. Gee, the only thing the Web is missing now is a
              megalomaniacal, charismatic champion in the vein of
              CNN's Ted Turner. Hmmmmm, who could that be? I
              invite you to send in your nominations now.

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