What's the content, Kenneth?
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REVIEWS AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
Marshal McLuhan once wrote that "the medium is the message."
The World Wide Web and other modern information sources provide new mediums,
and more likely than not, new messages.
Particularly for the delivery of news, what message forms will follow the
traditional newspaper, magazine, radio, and TV? At this point, the
content might take the form of some combination of the four available methods.
The WWW already has the ability to deliver streaming audio and video as
well as static pictures and text. Sites like Microsoft's MSNBC
are already taking advantage of all four forms. Does the combination
of visual, audio, and textual input enhance news presentation and understanding?
The combination of these four mediums is only one new available feature.
The WW W also adds interactivity, opening up the possibility for interactive
news delivery. Interactivity will let the user submit preferences,
and this is leading to individually customized news delivery. By
way of model, all users could potentially have access to an news information
depository, and systems would deliver certain stories to the user based
on inputted preferences.
Interactivity also means that it is easy for individuals to publish their
own thoughts or information for others to access. Each user could
be an information source for other interested users. This in itself
is a new sort of news. The only parallel in current media is the
classified ad, which could be displaced by individuals' classified flea
market web pages.
Perhaps at some point news will be immersive. Rather than reading
or watching a video clip, a user might be able to virtually transport himself
to the site of a news story and see what is happening first hand, eliminating
the middle-man reporter but perhaps changing the psychological understanding
of the news story that the user might have seen on the evening news in
Hopefully, the promise of technology is enhanced human capabilities, both
mechanical and cognitive. As far as news delivery is concerned, content
that is presently available on the WWW and the future forms of that content
deserve careful study to see whether they are fulfilling technology's promise.
created by Anoop Sinha, 2/24/97, email@example.com.
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