Importance of Internet to Journalism

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Importance of Internet to Journalism

While the internet and mobile phones are talked about for offering a better interactive platform to publish and share journalism work, the Internet and indeed mobile phones provide increased avenues for journalists to source, produce and package stories better. It is therefore important for journalists to understand how to utilize the internet and mobile phones to improve their reporting. Whether you are reporting for traditional media or new media, the internet and mobile can be used as great tools in better reporting of our stories.

What is the Internet?

Internet which is at the center of new media presents lots of opportunities for better journalism
Internet which is at the center of new media presents lots of opportunities for better journalismlism

The Internet is a worldwide collection of computer networks (digital devices), cooperating with each other to exchange data using a common software standard (http, ftp etc). Through telephone wires and satellite links, Internet users can share information in a variety of forms. The size, scope and design of the Internet allows users to:

  • connect easily through ordinary personal computers and local phone numbers;
  • exchange electronic mail (E-mail) with friends and colleagues with accounts on the Internet;
  • post information for others to access, and update it frequently;
  • access multimedia information that includes sound, photographic images and even video; and
  • access diverse perspectives from around the world.


The internet has had a marked influence on journalism practice in many ways. It is both a big platform for sourcing information, publishing and disseminating it.

  • Reporters can enliven their reports with diverse sources and data and avoid flat news.
  • Copy/paste journalism; no checking…can be avoided since the internet provides massive data bases to cross check most of the things we report about.
  • See Nick Davies interview
  • The internet offers new possibilities see Guardian
  • Concept of continuum reporting—pro-active reporting vs re-active reporting…the stories lives on and can keep on being improved.

Mobile Phones boost Journalism,

Many if not all journalists own a mobile phone. Mobile phones can be used to record audio, take pictures and video. Some advanced phones can be used to edit audio, photos and videos, and even publish online or forward content to editors or publishers.

You can also use the mobile phone to access the internet and search for information, interview sources whether in text (there is even live text), live audio and video (e.g. skype and Google talk)…the possibilities are many for those with mobile phones that are enabled for many of these online and mobile tools.

Since many people access the internet through their mobile phones, you can also produce and publish content target at reception through the mobile phones. Because there are many more people with mobile phones than computers, and much more people spend time with or on their mobile phones than computers, every online strategy should incorporate mobile. The line between internet and mobile is becoming more and more blurred because many more people are accessing internet through the mobile phones, while those with phones are accessing most of the news and information from the internet.

Journalists need the Internet

Since the primary job of journalists is to find information and package it for audiences, it is important for journalists to learn how to utilize the internet as key resource for better stories. A lot of information is available online, provided by media houses, journalists, governments, civil society organizations etc. The best way to find out what information is available is to search the internet.