In the 1980s the appearance of moderated newsgroups on the Internet heralded the arrival of what was to become known as blogging. By the 1990s the general public were creating online diaries and in 1996 John Parry Barlow created ‘The Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace’ which basically stated that the Internet was a ‘free-for-all’ to express, without fear, any point of view. In 1997 a new forum called ‘Weblog’ was created by Jorn Barger. However, two years later in 1999 came the arrival of Blogger.com which allowed any member of the public to create their own blog. By the 2000’s these blogs could interact with other websites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. This convergence turned blogging into the mainstream pursuit that it is today.
Web news structures: news blogs are now interactive with other websites and will include links to other sources, eyewitness accounts, archive materials, stakeholder views, static and dynamic multimedia. They allow for user control of information. There is little or no editing, they offer journalists view with input from other users. This renders the blog a sort of network are collection of different views which are transparent, immediate and not lacking in diversity.
Open source: Web space is now freely available using forums such as Blogger. Development software has been created to simplify the process of creating a blog. Open source software is free to use and invites its users to enhance the software if possible. In fact, websites such as Wikipedia (created by Jimmy Wales in 2001) are interactive forums where users have free access to the information to amend, improve and add to the available information. This is a system not without pitfalls. The freedom to edit as one chooses renders much of the information unreliable.
Web journalism; the key elements of Web journalism are to identify information of interest to an audience, acquire, augment and verify information, order and present information in appropriate format, style and structure. This process involves;
- Archiving and linking.
- Convergence of roles.
- New format; design and site building.
- Lifecycle of news.
Internet journalism has created new forms of news and information consumption. These include nonlinear consumption, WAP – wireless application protocol and RSS – really simple syndication.