Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Writing Conventions

Group 4 - Part III

The internet has caused a revolution in the communication process. In traditional media news information in the past flowed mainly in one direction, from news organizations to their audience. Recipient feedback was not as prevalent before the internet. With the rise of the internet two-way communication between sender and recipient is prevalent. This intimacy between sender and recipient has forged relationships that are stronger, though not necessarily healthier. Much of the internet “news” writing has taken on the characteristics of advertising, emphasizing pathos.

Internet writing compared to standard news reporting in print media has allowed the practice of what could be termed “opinion journalism.” Independent writers are targeting specific niche audiences. At times the integrity of the writing may come into question as verification of the massive amounts of information dispersed on the internet is nearly impossible to achieve. Without any sort of peer review independent writers have the wiggle room to send forth opinion pieces that may be received as verified news information.

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times wrote in his book, "Longitudes and Attitudes", "At its best, the Internet can educate more people faster than any media tool. At its worst, it can make people dumber faster than any media tool. Because the Internet has an aura of "technology" surrounding it, the uneducated believe information from it even more. They don't realize that the Internet, at its ugliest, is just an open sewer: an electronic conduit for untreated, unfiltered information. Just when you might have thought you were all alone with your extreme views, the Internet puts you together with a community of people from around the world who hate all the things and people you do.

You can scrap the BBC and just get your news from those Websites that reinforce your own stereotypes. "Where this leads us concerning discourse convention is that we as a society are fractured in our consumption patterns. There are segments of society that will refuse to engage reality because they have sources of information that reinforce their desired beliefs. The internet exposes and shelters us at the same time, depending upon our desires.

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