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The question of the week – ‘What defines news in the online environment?

In this day and age with the internet literally at almost everyone’s finger tips there can be confusion over what is really news.

I believe the same definitions for print news can be applied to online news the biggest difference is the potential for readers to mistake a piece for information for news, when in reality it has no credibility, isn’t verified and is merely somebody’s ideas/thoughts/musings or opinions packaged neatly. This is also known as citizen journalism.

World English Dictionary defines citizen journalism as:

– n

the involvement of non-professionals in reporting news, especially in blogs and other websites

Journalist or citezin journalist?

Journalist or citizen journalist?










A journalist publishing on the Internet still uses the same news sense as they would in a traditional print role. Module 2 (Finding & Planning News), states that even though the internet is a global medium and the potential audience is so large, the journalist should not strive to write for the whole world but write for their main audience as they would for another meduim.

Here is an example of ABC news’s homepage on the 27th of July 2012:

The front web page is covered in headlines. It also has picture galleries and widgets to enhance the viewers overall reading experience. The middle bar has separate tabs for video, audio and pictures. This allows the reader to get their news in any format they desire without having to go elsewhere (eg: turn on the tv, tune in the radio or flip open a newspaper). In this day and age where we have such busy lives, this type of easy accessibility is welcomed.

In conclusion, there is a lot of rubbish on the internet which isn’t news, but once that is sorted through, online news is defined by its ability to offer viewers information through various platforms resulting in a larger ‘package’ than print, radio or broadcast alone could achieve.


About alishearer

I am currently a third year journalism student at the University of Southern Queensland. II am completing a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in journalism and doing minors in Communications & Media as well as Creative Writing. This page is to post my articles and news stories so I can get viewers opinions and hopefully become a better writer.


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