Steve Steinberg is a syndicated columnist for the L.A. Times , and contributing editor at Wired magazine. Steve received a B.S. in Computer Science at U.C. Santa Barbara , and a Masters in the same from the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently a security consultant at KPMG Peat Marwick.

Question: How long have you been using the Internet?

I started using the ARPANet as a hacker in 8th grade. So 1984 or so.

Question: Where do you get most of your news: print, radio, TV, or the Internet?

Print first, then the net.

Question: Do you think the Internet will change news delivery as we know it today?

I think things like Pointcast and NewsCatcher definitely point the way to how we'll be getting news in the future. I'm not sure, however, that it is fundamentally different than today's news delivery methods. The "interaction" is minimal. What IS different is the number of choices.

Question: Has the Internet affected they way you go about being a journalist? How?

Hard to say EXACTLY how, since I've been using Net for all of my professional life. It's certainly an incredibly important resource for me, though. Besides the obvious ways (i.e. finding company background info, papers) I find that technical mailing-lists are a great way to find out what the buzz is and, more importantly, hear what engineers are saying without having it filtered through PR departments.

Question: Will the Internet have a net positive or negative effect on journalism?

Hmm, the negatives are Alta Vista style journalism (similar to the notorious lexis-nexis style journalism: no real reporting is done, just searching) and the Web's penchant for very short, surface pieces (~500 words). I think this latter problem is huge, but is mitigated by the greater number of voices that the internet brings in.

Question: Do you see any major technological hurdles that may have some impact on news delivery via the Internet?

Searching is hard, which is why we end up with stuff like Pointcast. I think truly smart search engines would make a world of difference.

Question: Don't you just hate the Internet?

Puts food on my table, babeee!

Interview conducted electronically by Remzi Arpaci . Click here to go back to the main page.