Journalism's new frontier in action:

Deduct Box

AlterNet

The Drudge Report

Slate Magazine

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The online revolution

Low overhead and nominal startup costs are turning the Internet into a viable mew media outlet

he written word is mankind's oldest form of recorded communication. It, along with other forms of media, has allowed us to become educated about the ideas and events of the past, present, and future. At its inception, the written word was available to an elite portion of society, but the gap between media accessibility and the working class narrowed as time progressed. The gap is now widening once more, and continues to spread, paralleling the darkening line being drawn between the classes. The same commanding democratic force which gives the power to print, publish, or broadcast facts, opinions, and ideas is easily stifled when such acts become anything more than a labour of love.

According to Lawrence K. Grossman in the November, 1996, issue of Columbia Journalism Review:

"Democracy will best be served in the 21st Century by returning to the 18th Century idea of an independent and totally unregulated press, a press that is controlled by many different owners, a press that offers access to many different voices, and a press that makes available essential public affairs, educational, and cultural programming to all our citizens (Bagdikian, 4th ed., 22)."
Ultimately, any component of mass communication today is for the acquisition of money and power. In this situation, being "in the black" takes precedence over divulging "All the News That's Fit to Print." The printed media, at its roots, is a powerful method to aid social change. Currently, however, it serves only as a set of proverbial social chains.

The explosion in Internet use in the past five years has brought with it the birth of a viable new media outlet -- News sites on the World Wide Web. Free of the expensive barriers to startup, such as printing presses, a physical location and a distribution team, the Internet provides a "safety valve" to anyone, and a new, untainted (and often just as unreliable) source of news.