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Future of Internet News?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the not-your-father's-style-of-journalism dept.

The Media 315

Matthew asks: "Now that the Internet has become an integral part of many people's lives, it has also become the place where many of us get our daily news reports (think Slashdot, New York Times, etc). The decentralization of the Internet offers many advantages over traditional media such as newspapers and television, as the user has more control over what to view and when to view it. But how does the future of this utopia look? With the uprise of ad blockers, are we going to be able to get our news for free? Will the Internet become a place for the "selected few" with money to spend? How do DRM and Trusted Computing play into the role? What does Darwin say will happen to newspapers, radio, television?"

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Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (0, Offtopic)

CypherXero (798440) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389875)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

Re:Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (0, Offtopic)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389919)

Parent post is insightful. Which moron modded it as offtopic?

Re:Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390177)

Parent post is insightful. Which moron modded it as offtopic?!

Bloggers (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389878)

Well, I have made the transition to obtaining almost all of my news via the Internet. It started back with the first news item I saw first on the Internet, the Oklahoma City Federal building bombing and has accelerated ever since. Certainly the future of news gathering will be via dissemination on the Internet whether that news is contained in Internet feeds of video from traditional news sources like CNN, CBS, ABC, etc.... but the growing numbers of blog reporting sites will become an even greater force in refining information delivered via traditional outlets and through the creation and reporting of novel news items. Of course 99% of bloggers do not have the resources individually that major news organizations have, but this is changing with group blogs and communities of bloggers.

Advantage of Internet News (4, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390021)

When we talk about Internet news, we must talk about it in conjunction with search engines like Yahoo! Search [] . In that context, the Internet has 2 advantages over the old style of retrieving news. First, Internet news means instant access to the latest and most in-depth information. In the old days, the quickest access was television (e.g. CNN), but it was not the most in-depth. (How much depth can you get by 2 minutes of coverage on the nightly news?) Now, you can access instantaneous analyses written by the "Washington Post" and the "Wall Street Journal" for example. Further, web sites at CNN and Fox News also provide in-depth instantaneous news.

The second advantage is the real reason for the success of news on the Internet. The Internet serves as a huge database of old stories, facts, and analyses. In the old days, 2 years after you read a story in the "Washington Post", you may forget the exact details. Retrieving the original story requires a trip to the library and manually scanning through hundreds of reels of microfiche. In short, accessing the old story was prohibitively expensive, but that old story may contain critical information for assessing government policy towards, say, Taiwan.

Now, you can use Yahoo! Search to simply find the old story and access it within 15 seconds. You can quickly determine whether our government policy towards, say, Taiwan is correct. No longer can charlatans and quacks fool or manipulate you as easily.

In fact, I myself have used the power of the Internet to find the latest news about Taiwan and have summarized what I found [] . The reality of Taiwan is quite damning of current American policy.

News + Local bloggers = glut (2, Insightful)

AltoidsSuck (540254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390061)

The future of news will be with the news aggregators like [] . A system that auto-categorizes the news, finding news from far-flung sources about anything you might be interested in. No one has time to read every news source. The number of sources is only going to grow as more and more citizen journalists and blogs evolve into a network of reliable local news.

Yahoo news crawls some 7000+ news sites, Google News [] crawls 4500+ English news sites, and crawls 10,000+ news sites. Once you add in the thousands of local blogs, you will need a system like [] to filter the relentless stream of news articles and posts that are generated every day. You will need something that can sort through the news, determine the trends, and ignore the old repeated stories for you and present them to you in RSS for consumption with your favorite RSS news reader.


Re:Bloggers (3, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390062)

I should also have included some relevant links to Internet based news sources bookmarked in Safari: []

Slashdot [] of course.
CNN [] of course.
NYTimes [] for the writing and quality of reporting.
BBC [] for the big mainstream non American news perspective.
Kevin Sites [] for on the ground reporting in Iraq.
Dan Gillmor [] for news grassroots news.
CBS [] for financial info.
CNET [] for tech news.
Global Security [] for political defense news.
Google [] for a good news accumulator.
Cryptome [] because John manages to pull some pretty damned interesting articles out.
NPR [] of course. Don't forget to donate.
Reuters [] because they have the news.
Washington Post [] for beltway news.
Wall St. Journal [] for more financial news.
NPR Marketplace [] for more financial news.
CBS [] for mainstream US news.
Technocrat [] for real science oriented geek news, like Slashdot only with less noise.
Oh, yeah and
Macsurfer [] for a Macintosh community oriented news accumulator.

Syndication (1)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390082)

My fairly recent change from surfing to RSS has changed my surfing habits substantially. Although I am trying a second RSS reader on OS X, most of the syndicated sites are blogs, with a few real news outlets. Groups of bloggers with varying interests filter so much information effectively, that the time required to actually find the information through casual browsing is prohibitive. While I read the bloggers critically, they help to get the news and interesting material to the surface. They're a filter rather than journalists, but a very valuable filter.

Newspapers are many times filters also, by posting breaking news from Reuters and such.

Blogging is highly overrated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390142)

It seems to be the buzz word for the last year or so, but I have not seen many good blog sites. It seems most bloggers are individuals with a heavy slant on things, they're the lunatic fringe of news reporting.

At least in my eyes, "blog" has become synonymous with garbage. Very local tabloids, nothing more.

Re:Bloggers (1)

randallpowell (842587) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390189)

Personally, I prefer Internet news since I can use many sources for articles that give depth and background information to the news. Also, unlike cable news, many to most articles tend to provide information while having little opinion. It's more pure journalism and more professional than Fox News. Bloggers are opinions only and may mislead people thinking it's fact. Just like the previous sentence.

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11389884)

first to post !

Well... (4, Insightful)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389885)

As long as people use IE and browsers that don't natively support ad-blocking (or pop-up blocking, as is the case up to SP2), ads will still be the driving force behind Internet mainstream news. Once ad-blockers really catch on, registration will be required more for spam purposes, then after that, it'll require real registration and payment.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390006)

Once ad-blockers really catch on, registration will be required more for spam purposes, then after that, it'll require real registration and payment.

I don't see the necessary links between these steps. This seems to be a bit of a 'slippery slope' argument that may not stand up to further examination. I don't mean to rule it out, but can you elaborate on your argument? I don't see it, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

Re:Well... (2, Interesting)

Mrhilaryduff (849543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390059)

I'd also consider 3rd party micro-payment collectors, or perhaps gov. approved companies to collect and regulate micro-payment for internet use. I would mind paying 1/3 cent to view my favorite website without ads. Would you?

Re:Well... (1)

Mrhilaryduff (849543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390123)

Correction... dumb- change "would" to "would not"...

Re:Well... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390195)

> Once ad-blockers really catch on, registration will be required more for spam
> purposes, then after that, it'll require real registration and payment.

Once stuff becomes un-free, people will drift back to newspapers etc. The main attraction to many, if not most internet users is that they can get the news (to say nothing of copyrighted stuff) for free.

Re:Well... (1)

Matt_R (23461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390214)

My local newspaper's web site [] has recently required registration (so they can "improve" their service..). They also increased their annoying popup ads after registration was required.

I finally gave in and registered with them, as a 60+ year old from africa. I used the email address listed as the contact for any questions about the registration process, so it seems they dont verify the email addresses at all.

Utopia? (4, Insightful)

sterno (16320) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389893)

Who said it was a utopia? Most people getting their news from major news sites that are offshoots of the same media companies that run TV. The other news is made up of what people actively seek to find out about. So that means people going out and finding the stories that reinforce their existing opinions, further fragmenting society.

Utopia? Not as such.

Re:Utopia? (1)

Pendersempai (625351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389984)

So that means people going out and finding the stories that reinforce their existing opinions, further fragmenting society. Utopia? Not as such.

You'd rather prescribe a correct interpretation of events, so the hooligans who disagree with you wouldn't be able to reinforce their existing opinions? What shall we call your centralized, monolithic, ideologically controlled and controlling news source? How about Pravda?

Re:Utopia? (4, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390089)

True enough, most major news sites are offshoots of the more traditional print and TV news outlets. However, the beauty of the Internet is that it is very easy to compare varying viewpoints on the same situation from different outlets and draw your own conclusions. For instance, you *could* just get your picture of the situation in Iraq from reading, or you could do that, then hop over to the BBC, Al Jazeera, Reporters sans Frontières, Amnesty International and any others that might take your fancy for a much more rounded view. It'll probably be more accurate too.


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390119)

Ads cost money. Every time you get something for free thanks to advertising money, you pay for it when you buy things that have been advertised.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather pay for a site that doesn't have ads and pay less for tangible products I buy. That way I don't have to pay marketdroids to spew their bullshit.

Newspapers - a dying breed (0, Redundant)

kaustik (574490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389895)

I can't remember the last time I picked up a hardcopy of a newspaper... or just about any other publication, aside from a paerback novel.
Why read day-old news when you can get up to the minute headlines via http and RSS? If I am not at a PC, I can read them with my blackberry or my cell phone. I even saw a laundrymat with a news ticker in the windows the other day...

Re:Newspapers - a dying breed (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390051)

Up-to-the-minute with RSS is what's killing it. Constant polling and sending without an "if newer than" kind of request puts a huge burden on publishers.

Re:Newspapers - a dying breed (2, Insightful)

RobertTaylor (444958) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390053)

"Why read day-old news when you can get up to the minute headlines via http and RSS?"

Because most newspapers come with editorials, opinion pieces and investigative journalism that is not found online (and is more likely to be real)...

Plus you get a good source of paper to put on the floor or wrap things in.


Re:Newspapers - a dying breed (2, Insightful)

soliptic (665417) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390238)

If I am not at a PC, I can read them with my blackberry or my cell phone.

Good for you.

However, I don't have a blackberry (whatever that is), and my cell phone is designed for, er, making phone calls. It doesnt do the internet, and if it did I wouldnt much want to read it on a 5*20 character display, or whatever it is.

Bearing in mind I'm a young, single male, in a first world nation (UK) with all the tech available if I want it, with a fairly well-paid job, and a long-standing penchant for geek toys and techy things.... in terms of the world at large, I think I am in the top 0.1% of the population who is likely to have such tech.

But I still don't have these things.

So, um, don't count on paper vanishing instantly. Try to remember - you are not a representative sample of the entire world.

Time to /. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11389900)

Make sure you all click the slashdot link, we're gonna show those fuckers that we ain't kiddin!

Internet news? (3, Funny)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389904)

Re:Internet news? (1)

djplurvert (737910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390043)

yeah, I want news with depth and penetration, they seem to just be scratching the surface.

Re:Internet news? (1)

Refusedb (839535) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390048)

who knows... who knows...

Details - what news forgot (5, Insightful)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389912)

When I read news, I want 3 page articles about it. Most of these stories you read online or in a paper could be put into one sentence and it would have the same value.

Re:Details - what news forgot (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390060)

You are correct that newspapers like to pad out the same piece of information. Wouldn't it be great if there was a website that had the up-to-date news WITH all the details. I wonder who would operate it and how it would work though. I expect it would be a community-based project. Hmm...something to think about.

Re:Details - what news forgot (1)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390150)

Sounds like you want the headlines... try an RSS news ticker?

Re:Details - what news forgot (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390185)

Not to mention if the inet news is even trustworthy. Usually all (or most) news in newspapers (especially such high ranked as NY Post, Washington Post,...) the info is atleast checked for authority before publishing. inet news is usually (especially true for slashdot lately it seems) news is just covered up in some fancy writing and put on the front page with possiblly some annoying tittle as 'The death of Microsoft' just to find out when you read the article that some 16 year old blogger thought it would be cool to write an article about some stupid stuff he doesn't even remotely know about just to make some publicity (btw Slashdot comes very near the top here). Most people only read the tittle, fewer read the snippet, even fewer read the fucking article.
Well, it makes perfect sense - make a story people will argue about and you will have more and more users - trolls just can't resist fighting back.
From top of my head seems like a good news site which can be compared to other famous newspapers.

DRM turns the Internet into TV (3, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389918)

The content control becomes oligarchical. At least, that's where it leads.

Darwin is dead (2, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389928)

It happened 122 years ago. News at 11.

ergo, Darwin has nothing to say about this.

Re:Darwin is dead (2, Interesting)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390004)

Also, since News services, as far as we know, isn't DNA based, doesn't use inheritance and wasn't bred using natural selection- I don't really think that Darwin would exactly be an authority you would want to ask even if he was extremely young for his age.

Re:Darwin is dead (1)

Stradenko (160417) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390158)

I think you've misunderstood; Darwin [] is alive and's BSD [] that's dead.

Truth? (4, Insightful)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389936)

You want the truth about how the future is going to be, not just for net news, but for most cool technology?

Well, you know in cyberpunk movies how the technology always seems old and cobbled-together? Well, thats what people will start doing when things are commodotized enough and when they lose all the freedom they used to have with the old stuff. The "new shiny internet" (tm) will be a DRM laden piece of crap, and anybody who is interested will just hop on a darknet.

Newsmap (2, Interesting)

Mshift2x (686015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389943)

I think Newsmap, a quasi-graphical google-news site, will be a model for how news is "viewed" in the future. check it out here. [] It's quite easy to use.

Re:Newsmap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390055)

thats the stupidest site ive ever seen and its actually very hard to use and it hurts my eyes

Three Slashdot Prophets (0, Offtopic)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389944)

BLOOD & THUNDER SLASHDOTTER: ...And the bezan shall be huge and black, and the eyes thereof red with the blood of living creatures, and the whore of Babylon shall ride forth on a three-headed serpent, and throughout the lands, there'll be a great rubbing of parts. Yeeah...

FALSE SLASHDOTTER: ...For the demon shall bear a nine-bladed sword. Nine-bladed! Not two or five or seven, but nine, which he will wield on all wretched sinners, sinners just like you, sir, there, and the horns shall be on the head, with which he will...

BORING SLASHDOTTER: ...Obadiah, his servants. There shall, in that time, be rumours of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things wi-- with the sort of raffia work base that has an attachment. At this time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight o'clock. Yea, it is written in the book of Cyril that, in that time, shall the third one...

COMMANDER TACO: Don't you, eh, moderate other people, or you might get moderated yourself.


COMMANDER TACO: I said, 'Don't pass judgment on other people, or else you might get judged, too.'



MODERATOR: Oh. Ooh. Thank you very much.

COMMANDER TACO: Well, not just you. All of you.

We will pay (1)

LinuxRulz (678500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389946)

Personally I think blocking popups and ads is the same for news as music piracy is for music industry. I use Adblock when I browse and began by blocking slashdot ads. Then I realised that it was worth encouraging, so I subscribed. I believe that people won't let the occasion to encourage a site if they believe it's worth it. But in a majority of cases, there are a LOT of annoying ads and I think it's normal to want to avoid them, especially if the site's content isn't worth it.

Too soon (5, Insightful)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389948)

Hmm, I personally get the majority of my news from the 'net - the New York Times is simply prohibitively expensive in real life up here in Canada, and Google News and CNET provide some info that I wouldn't otherwise find in the local papers - which are quite good.

That being said, I do read a real paper every morning with breakfast, and I don't see the current model of dual-distribution fading (that of the print edition + the internet edition. Some choice quotes from the post are simply not going to hold up:

With the uprise of ad blockers, are we going to be able to get our news for free?

I'd like to see some statistics, but I don't think that this is a widespread phenomenon. Indeed, I know a lot of tech savvy people and some don't use ad-blocker for philosophical reasons, and some are just too lazy (some do use it, and I think it's great). And the majority of people continue to use IE, and even smirk at the notion of switching browsers!

The decentralization of the Internet offers many advantages over traditional media such as newspapers and television, as the user has more control over what to view and when to view it. But how does the future of this utopia look?

Come now.. Utopia? Seems a little perjorative. Yes, there are advantages - but the good, fact-referenced (well, hopefully) stories are only there because of the ads and the print editions! The internet is in most cases a mere adjunct of the print edition. It does offer advantages.. but some disadvantages too. I love my computer, and I still prefer reading a print edition . . . can't even put a rational reason down. I spend most of my day looking at computers anyways.

Will the Internet become a place for the "selected few" with money to spend?

No. I don't think so. The current distrbution model is working just fine. Ad-revenues are good, and there are simply so many online sources of news (NYT, CBC, BBC, Washington Post, etc. etc.) that if one paper goes to a pay model, then boom - they just loose their market share. They could all get together, but that would be monopoly and illegal.

So, for those reasons, I feel the future of internet news is bright and doesn't hold any of the radical changes forseen by 'Matthew'.

Drudge (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11389950)

All you need is Drudge [] ...

Advertising will get more agressive (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389952)

Pop-ups are quickly fading, replaced by ads that try to catch our attention. As I type this, I see strange happy faces and rays eminating from a person on the phone at the top of Slashdot.

Soon you'll see product placement in the articles themselves. I saw I, Robot over the weekend and was disgusted by the blatant product placement and direct references by the actors.

Pretty soon Slashdot might start talking about Linux in their news items or something.

Re:Advertising will get more agressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390105)

What amazing me even more, is that no one seems to mind. Brain-washing is ok for them.

News from the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11389959)

"Two American students were arrested today for running the website catered to distributing copyrighted news material that are normally available to subscribers only. The website retrieved the subscription-only webpages using usernames and passwords donated by regular visitors, and redistribtued these to all visitors using BitTorrent and P2P technologies.

"The New York Times editor-in-chief estimates that has been responsible for loss of $43 million dollars per annum to their revenue, based on the standard subscription rate of $14.95 per month.

"Soon after the arrests, two new websites have been created that do exactly the same thing as"

Darwin (4, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389960)

Yes, what would Darwin say about television, radio and newspapers? Let's see... Darwin was a biologist, and none of these are biological. They don't reproduce, so they're not susceptible to natural selection, and they don't need to mate, so sexual selection is also irrelevant. I guess evolution happens through other means in the media business.

Good point! (1)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390030)

Thank you! It's getting increasingly tiresome to see such abuse of Darwin's Evolutionary theory by people who quite simply have not taken the time to absorb the fundamentals.

Spencer, on the other hand. . .

Re:Darwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390088)

How do I recognize a slashdotter:
Look for the guy shouting answers to rhetorical questions at the top of his lungs.

Effects of ad blockers minimal (5, Insightful)

David M. Sweeney (105063) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389963)

How does the "uprise [sic] of ad blockers" change anything? We've been flipping past newspaper ads, going to the bathroom during TV commercials and changing the channel during radio ad spots for quite a while, and the free market hasn't collapsed -- how is the Internet any different?

Re:Effects of ad blockers minimal (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390187)

even when you flip past newspaper ads.. you still see them. you might even read them through if you're bored. but with popup blockers it's as if those pages were totally removed, you never see whats on them and you never get temptation to even read what they're even advertising.

that said.. i don't think popup / ad blockers will do anything drastic to anything. the adverts just change their form and creep into the stories themselfs.

Slashdot vs NYTimes (3, Funny)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389964)

Now that the Internet has become an integral part of many people's lives, it has also become the place where many of us get our daily news reports (think Slashdot, New York Times, etc)

Slashdot::NYTimes as Dung Beetle::Elephant

Albeit, I first found out about the Columbine shooting and the Columbia explosion the day both of those happened while checking slashdot.

Re:Slashdot vs NYTimes (1)

Roofus (15591) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390080)

Ah yes. Well that was in a past Internet life. Now Slashdot only posts stories 3 days after they occured, and 2.5 days after they've already appeared on other geek sites.

I just visit Slashdot for the insightful comments.

Darwin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11389965)

What does Darwin say will happen to newspapers, radio, television?"

What is it with /. these days - does every news story have to include a reference to Apple?

Traditional media here to stay (1)

teneighty (671401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389972)

Newspapers and TV news aren't really just about news - they're a form of entertainment. In a sense, when you buying a newspaper you're really paying for the editors to sift through all the crap and present you with a mix of stories that - hopefully - largely interest you.

It's almost traditional to spend a lazy saturday or sunday morning on the couch/deckchair/stardeck with the weekend edition of your paper of choice. You can't really do that with internet news sources, and especially not automatically aggregrated news sources such as google news. Perhaps one day when wireless electronic paper devices becomes reality, there will be an equivilent, but I get the feeling that's a few years away yet.

Slashdot (1)

mattthateeguy (850214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389973)

Slashdot will always be FREE!

Personalized news (1)

costas (38724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389978)

Well, I am biased [] , but I think the future of news delivery is towards personalized news delivery, tailored to the interests of each reader. Memigo [] and Findory [] (no relation) are two examples of personalized news agents. MSN Newsbot is also going into that direction and I am betting Google will follow soon.

radio will survive... (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389986)

radio will survive if for 1 reason alone: commutes.

"What about cd's? Couldn't someone just listen to those" you ask.

Sure. But if that was going to kill radio, it would have died with 8tracks, tapes,'s. But it hasn't. People want to know what's going on, and nothing visual is appropriate while driving (other than the road, of course). Radio is all it ever needs to be for someone driving an hour commute every morning and evening, 5 days a week.

What about the rest of the time? Who knows. But it will survive, if for no reason other than that. Oh, and the workforce (esp heavy labor) will always want something to listen to as well.

TV, esp broadcast tv? Hard to say. Newspapers? Ouch.

Splitting up the behemoths. (1)

muntumbomoklik (806936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389987)

The fact is that people can now go to a preferred site on the net and read about current events with exactly the same bias as they have - in other words, while the democratization of the news that the internet has provided may be a good thing for different points of view, those points of view are becoming more polarized as news agencies go after niche markets. No one needs to encounter things on the news that might challenge their perceptions anymore, or inform them of an event in an impartial manner. As news agencies struggle to maintain their profit margins, they're losing the same journalistic standards they claim are lost on 'amateur' internet sites. It's another bitter battle against 'old' and 'new' media. Unfortunately the winner in this case may not be the consumer, because as we gain more and more niche markets we gain a less balanced perspective of the world and its events. Deep divisions in opinion are what have really defined the beginning of this new era, rather than a sharing of information.

Product placement (1)

wpiman (739077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389989)

As with television- the next natural progression for advertising will be product placement in the news.

Perhaps it is possible- why not stick "This article brought to you by Pepsi Cola- the choice of the next generation"- right at the top with the author.

Maybe good of it will come. Imagine- the next big tsunami like disaster hits- and multinational rush in trying to out do each other for global recognition. Now that would be progress.

Limited Spectrum (4, Interesting)

vondo (303621) | more than 9 years ago | (#11389993)

My worry is that as people get more and more news via the Internet, they will self-limit the spectrum of the news they get. News on the Internet will come from an increasingly large number of sources with narrower and narrower viewpoints, and people will pick the viewpoint that matches their own most closely, thereby closing their minds to other viewpoints. In other words, amplify what Fox News has done many times over.

I don't claim to be immune to this, the only on-line site I where I typically read in-depth articles is Salon [] .

But USERS decide what they want, not PROVIDERS (4, Insightful)

jgardn (539054) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390157)

Why is this so bad? Even if people get their news from 1 or 2 sources that are heavily biased, the opposing viewpoints are a click away. Often, they provide links and connect to each other, despite being mortal enemies with irreconcilable differences. (I never heard of Daily Kos until I started reading LGF regularly, for instance.)

Users get to determine what they read and in what format they read it in. They can even determine how much of which slant they want on the story.

Without the internet, you would have to search long and far to find opposing viewpoints. You'd have to take what you read at face value or go pay a visit to the library and hope they have recent, relevant material. Either that, or you'd have to subscribe to every magazine and newspaper on earth.

Re:But USERS decide what they want, not PROVIDERS (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390217)

> Why is this so bad?
> the opposing viewpoints are a click away.

Clearly, given your sigfile,

"Two ways to end the war: (1) Kill all terrorists. (2) Convert to Islam.
Unfortunately, diplomacy is not a part of either"

you just never got around to it.

depends.... (4, Interesting)

Lxy (80823) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390000)

For daily news, the internet works well. Check the headlines, check sports scores, movie times, events, etc.

Where big news breaks, so does the internet. Take a look at the Sept 11 attacks. ALL major news outlets were down. Slashdot stayed up*, but offered limited info. When it came down to it, radio and TV were the only reliable sources. The internet just can't handle demand for broadcast content. Even newspapers were able to get info printed before the internet outlets began to respond again.

The internet can be used as a news medium, but only when traffic permits.

* Have you guys ever thought of starting a news consulting service? CNN, Nytimes, USAToday, and most other new outlets can't handle the load. /. deals with that kind of traffic every day. Maybe the brains at /. that keep the site running under constant load could help these sites out. Just a thought.

still reading newspapers (2, Interesting)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390001)

I think one of the 'problems' of reading online news sources, are that you seek out news that confirms your world view. You also tend out to seek out news that you think might be interesting to you, and missing on a whole lot of other news.

Take the tsunami for instance. I wasn't watching the news or reading the papers around the time (hadn't started up my newspaper subscription yet). I did seek out the usual online sources, clicking only the links that I thought would be interesting to me. I didn't actually find out about the extent of the tsunami until Wednesday, and that's only because I saw it on CNN (tv not website).

Reading newspapers, I tend to read for start to finish, picking up interesting book reviews or local events I wouldn't have read about otherwise.

Blogs (5, Interesting)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390005)

While blogging, I discovered something.

My blog is about biology and bioinformatics news. I had the habit of visiting some science news sites... recently, I found the RSS feeds of many press release services. News flash : most "science news" sites just copy/paste press releases. I do the same 50% of the time too, because it gets the point across when the PR is well written. But I do add my opinion / grain of salt when I can, which most science news site don't take the time to do / don't have the expertise necessary to understand. Being a PhD in bioinformatics with a strong biology background sure helps for that; and to filter unrelevant junk science news (there's lots of that, trust me).

Future of news? If its that easy to get on-par (content-wise) with most of the old-fashioned news source, independant sites like mine, run by expert on a niche topic, might be the future. Blogs are just another medium; it helps publishing fast and easy.

That is the whole problem with blogs. (1)

i41Overlord (829913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390196)

But I do add my opinion / grain of salt when I can, which most science news site don't take the time to do / don't have the expertise necessary to understand.

That is what ruins blogs. There is absolutely no objectivity. While you might try to keep the news as accurate as possible, someone else might just try to spin the news their own way. It leaves the reader not knowing what to believe.

Free Market Informtion (2, Insightful)

kjones692 (805101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390007)

The Internet is the penultimate example of a "free market" information system. Literally anyone who has access to a computer (and this can be just about anyone who has the necessary basic skills, thanks to public access from libraries and such) can have their say in a public forum, and have others see what they've said and sometimes respond with their own opinions.

The obvious advantage of this is that there will always be multiple perspectives on any given subject, from the mainstream to the personal to the radical or absurd. Ideally, this would mean that each person who reads the news online has the ability to weigh various viewpoints, and formulate their own opinion based on these. This can also lead to situations like bloggers bringing down Dan Rather for reports on documents that were falsified. So, in an ideal world, all perspectives would be considered and eventually, the truth would emerge.

However, the problem arises when all these sources are based on something that is supposedly "common knowledge" but is in fact not true. The best example I can think of offhand is the infamous "I invented the Internet" quote from Al Gore. Even though the transcript of what he actually said is readily available [] , and those who had a clue figured out what it was that was actually said, the general public accepted that Al Gore said, "I invented the Internet." Even today, most people would agree that Al Gore said that. His opponents and even his supporters said it bolstered his arrogant image, and in an election that was decided by less than a thousand votes, one could argue that it cost him the election. So, even though the truth was accessible, it did not match with what is still today commonly accepted.

So, the fact is that one can find any perspective on anything through the Internet. The problem is: What happens when all those perspectives are based on some unifying falsehood?

But the Net is Free!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390009)

"selected few". Hmmm, would that be people who pay for content in the real world right now? Newspapers cost money to read, so does tv (cable channels, there is always government sponsored public television), magazines etc. Why should these companies start giving away their bread and butter? When you get news from other sources you pay for formatting, editing, story checking and someone's neck being on the line if it's inaccurate (granted doesn't always happen but you occasionally hear about reporters being fired).

I wonder why these companies are still giving it out for free. Obviously there must be some way of profiting because I doubt it's a charity event. Do banners and profiling pay that much?

Filtering noise for valuable info is what matters (1)

m0llusk (789903) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390010)

There is lots of available information. What matters is being able to bring it together, classify it, and rate it in a trustworthy way. That is the real contribution of participatory media like Slashdot: The processes for reviewing submissions and moderation of discussion enable people to view news and analysis based on readily available criteria instead of getting a digest that was produced for everyone.

I don't block ads for this reason (5, Insightful)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390014)

All I block is popups.

I love the principle of advertising covering website costs. Why? Because I don't feel like giving out cash to read the news.

If ads, don't cover enough of the bill, were going to end up with micropayments. Using something like as an intermediary... and you pay perhaps $0.25-0.50 to read an article. IMHO I'd rather not get to that point.

I don't think banners are such a big deal. I prefer the subtle google ones.

IMHO the best model uses the following:
- Banner Ads
- Subscription service for no ads
- Micropayments

Just the other day I started resurrecting I did that as well. There banner adsads (I'm considering a subscription service if people want it). And there's the ability to give a micropayment ($1).

On the bottom of the page is a simple request. If you can spare a dollar, and want to keep the minimalist ad appearance, consider giving a dollar.

In the past life of the website, it prevented popup ads and such. Hopefully this time it will as well.

Here's an example []

The ads IMHO aren't obtrusive or in the way. There will be one Google text ad in the content area (I'm experimenting with that). But intentionally text so it doesn't stick out to much.

I like having very few ads. And hopefully enough people like it too... and will help keep it that way.

I think everyone benefits.

The Future of information... (2, Insightful)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390016)

The future of news and the future of computing will be tied up in the idea of Trust. Information will become more valuable the more it is trusted. The question that needs to be asked is how do I trust you and how do you trust me online.

Which leads to the next question, who do you trust with vouching for yourself online. And realize the answer to the question will be the person who will know you, and not some false or pseudonym. Who do you trust saying you are you, and that you do indeed know what you are talking about regarding the subject you are speaking of.

I personally don't want any of the following as vouching for me exclusively: The Government, My Bank (or anyone I pay money to to vouch for me). Now do I trust my friends, do I trust my church to vouch for me, and which of those do you trust? Also, what happens when I go from being a citizen of one state to another? Or from one country to another? What happens when I'm trusted by a known non-trusted/enemy organization?

Granted there are a ton of solutions out there, but nothing which is accepted yet. And each of these solutions have problems.

"Slashdot" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390020)

To the submitter: that's an odd news site you linked to. It does not render properly in Firefox, everyone seems obsessed with being first to welcome Soviet Russian Overlords for Profit, and it curiously mirrors your story with a link back to itself. I am confused.

Blogs and Podcasting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390022)

Blogs and Podcasting will be the news media of the future. There will be many people who will take up new roles as honest and active reporters.

The usual diversity (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390024)

Why does everyone always think that things must converge to some single future state? Regarding ad-blockers, I see three responses.

First, I'd wager that some sites will rearrange their content to be less pleasant to read with ad-blocking enabled or will create in-line text ads that are much harder to filter. Ad-hating people will stop visiting those sites, but the sites will still attract enough audience to survive. The number of free, ad-supported sites might decline, but will never go to zero.

Second, if anything, ad-blocking will further entrench the corporate subscription-only sites because it kills the natural migration path for small personal sites. Currently, a growing small site can recoup its bandwidth costs with ads. If that avenue is not open, then small sites must either sell-out to a big corporation or close up shop when the traffic gets too high.

Third, perhaps one solution is a bittorrent-like version of the WWW for small popular sites. Small sites that cannot afford to have a million or even a thousand daily viewers will submit their content to a bittorrent-like entity.

In short, technology and trends will mean that there will always be some number of big for-pay news sites (e.g., WSJ); medium-sized ad-supported sites (e.g., /.), and small, free personal news sites (blogs).

Money? (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390032)

Will the Internet become a place for the "selected few" with money to spend?

I expect that if a payment role comes in that many news sites will join together and a core distribution node will be put into place where you can go and signup for whichever sites you want and every day you get e-mailed a virtual newspaper with all the news from those sites. It won't be "select few" as you are already paying for your newspaper now you'd just be getting it in a different medium with (hopefully) more meaningful news.

epic (1)

Jac_no_k (5957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390044)

In the year 2014, The New York Times has gone offline. The Fourth Estate's fortunes have waned. What happened to the news? And what is Epic [] ?

It's fiction but what might happen when Google takes over?

About adblock (5, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390049)

Hello webmasters,

I block your ads when they get in my way.
Remember the [blink] tag? Why would a flashing graphic be any less annoying?
If your ads flash, blink, move around, make noise, or freeze my browser for 3 minutes while it loads an in-banner video I do not want to see, I will block your ads.

Do not bitch, moan, or say "but it's the advertisers that want to annoy you so". Just don't have ads that attempt to FORCE me to watch them. I will go to your site, I will block the ads, I will not feel bad about it. I used to block them my putting hand over the screen, now I have a ready-made plug-in that lets me rest my arm. The more intolerable your ads become, the more drastic our countermeasures become. This didn't have to be an arms race, but since you forced our hand, now we have adblock.

Someone fed up.

Re:About adblock (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390102)

And stop calling at my house!

If I wanted to buy your product, I would go out and do so, not wait at home for you to call and offer it to me.

Slashdot (2, Funny)

onco_p53 (231322) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390057)

Thanks for that informative link to Slashdot [] on the Slashdot [] home page. Now I know how to get to Slashdot [] to read the news.

recursive slashdotting (1)

tsunamifirestorm (729508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390068)

Why do you need a link to the front page of /. on this website? ;-)

Adverts (2, Interesting)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390073)

Advertisers will realise that pop-ups suck and everyone hates them, where as old fashioned banner ads are perfectly fine and few people block them. Systems like salon are also ok if a bit annoying. The general rule is if its too annoying then people will find a way around it or just go somewhere else. Every format has its own optimum advertising style - TV for example is suited to having reasonably spaced breaks - eg 15-30 minutes apart that have mostly interesting adverts that people want to watch. If you fuck with that or start putting banner ads in TV programs then people get pissed off and skip them like in the US.

What's that URL again? (1)

jp25666 (620034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390079)

Do we really a link to slashdot on a slashdot submission?

In defense of blocking ads (1)

Pendersempai (625351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390085)

Let me just head off all the complaints that inevitably occur whenever it comes out that people like me use ad blockers.

First, I will continue to use the ad blocker. Nothing you say will convince me otherwise.

Second, I am in no way obligated, implicitly or explicitly, contractually or morally, to view ads. If you're willing to take this route, you also have to argue that it is/should be illegal/immoral to fast-forward through commercials on the T.V., or to get up and make a sandwich when they come on, or to not look at the advertisements in a magazine.

Third, ad-blockers will win this particular game of cat and mouse. If websites do not serve us without an ad download, we will download the ad and fail to render it.

Fourth, I don't see a problem with paid-subscription services once the market equilibrates. Something that few people seem to understand is that looking at ads inflicts a cost on you. Companies wouldn't pay for your eyeball time if it weren't worth something. Why is it worth something? Because we are sheep. We react to ads.

Everyone, of course, seems convinced that only other people react to ads. No one admits that they, themselves, are personally influenced. But if you don't react to ads, then why do you object to my ad-blocker? And if you DO react to ads, necessarily in a way that costs you financially, then why aren't you just willing to make the payment up front? At least that way you KNOW what you're paying. At least that way you cut out the inefficiency of the middle-man advertiser and actually get your product cheaper.

So get your moral outrage off of my ad-blocker. Better, get one of your own. I use Privoxy [] , which works miracles with any web browser on any platform.

iNews? (2, Interesting)

sparkydevil (261897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390086)

It is inevitable that newpapers will move to a subscription model. Online ad revenue is low and there is just too much money involved, and the sources of the information are in the hands of a few news organisations.

Just like iTunes changed music, one day (quite soon, and just as suddenly) we will see an iNews equivalent giving paid access to multiple news sources. On the other side legal enforcement of their IP by news agencies will be stepped up (just like RIAA). Most newsgathering is in the hands of a few companies (Reuters, AP etc), when they say "no more free sites," it's over.

There will be lots of complaints form the "information wants to be free" crowd, but they will end up paying anyway.

To maintain their sites, Bloggers will actually be amongst the first to sign-up to such a model. Especially when they realise they can receive substantial affilliate money for sign-ups :)

Newsblogs are good for fact-checking and opinion. The hard bit, the newsgathering and primary reporting is what people have to pay for (because there can be no opinion pieces without it).

Blogs will always be hampered by this lack of ability to actually gather news. As mainstream media realises that blog-like opinion is easy to add to their sites, there will be further integration of user opinion and blog-like features into their sites.

National Fragmentation (2, Interesting)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390092)

IMO, the trend will be to split media into groups of isolated echo chambers sorted by political philosophy. With so many new choices for exchanging information, it's no longer necessary for anybody to do the hard work of coming to a general consensus on the issues. It's easier to hang out only with people who share your views and mod each other up. This is probably one of the big factors behind the recent drop in civility in political campaigns and congressional sessions. Nobody needs to spend any time listening to or understanding opposing viewpoints any more.

We're already seeing this trend with the increase in the number of available broadcast, satellite and cable channels. There are countless news shows, and each one can target a niche market. Few have incentive to even try to remove the appearance of bias; in fact, they increase the bias to help define their niche more clearly.

With the unlimited number of sources on the Internet, I believe that the trend will simply accelerate.

What does Darwin say will happen to newspapers... (1)

zymurgyboy (532799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390094)

Duh. The same thing Darwin says about anything else. It will adapt or die out. In the case of newspapers, radio, and TV news that would translate to, how do they embrace the new medium?

The really interesting question isn't so much how, but which ones embrace it, and how many of them will embrace it embrace it in time, and to what extent?

What, when, why, how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390097)

"The decentralization of the Internet offers many advantages over traditional media such as newspapers and television, as the user has more control over what to view and when to view it. "

But does he/she have control over how news gets created? Are we all going to be reporters? Will we all be "embedded" in Iraq? To whom is "Deep Throat" going to spill the beans? Richard nixon? The Pentagon Papers? Agent Orange? Who's going to have the connections to catch Ollie North in the act? How about editor? Who's going to bring all the good stuff together, and bring it up to some kind of standard? How about slander/libal issues? Will society be "flatter" than usual?

new york times, etc.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390108)

...try Drudgereport. ny times is nothing but left wing propaganda.

No Subject (1)

Universal Indicator (626874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390113)

I have always referred to the 10 or so sites that I check every day when I wake up as my "morning paper" :-)

Adblock won't work forever... (2, Insightful)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390115)

What happens when the advertisers figure out what's going on with adblock and they start hosting ads that looks like:

If the name of the ad is randomly generated, you would have a hard time blocking just the adds without also resorting to blocking all images at this website. It would be almost impossible to block text based ads.

"Trusted Computing" and DRM were not trustworthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390117)

If you look at who was behind the "trusted computing" initiative and what its goals were it was very obvious clear that you didn't want to put any trust into something like that. Fortunately "trusted computing" and DRM were doomed from the begining since people were not quite that stupid to fall for those schemes and are voting with their wallets for DRM-free hardware.

reliability (1)

Kallahar (227430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390126)

An important question will be what news and information is reliable. That's gone downhill in the last 20 years as the TV news sources compete to have the first "exclusive" info, regardless of whether it's true or not.

I'd rather pay for access to quality, well researched, and TRUE information than to find some free place that offers "maybe true, but sensational!" information.

Links in articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390139)

They'll just do what some sites such as Tom's Hardware and Experts Exchange are doing now. Just look at some of their articles and you'll see links. Hover over them, though, and you'll see that a Windows XP link takes you to classes for training to be a Windows XP administrator, and other links take you to other unrelated items.

These ad-links are very annoying and look like actual relevant links, so Joe Schmoe will assume he can learn more about Windows XP and then find he just clicked on an ad. Once this trust is broken, they won't know what to click on any more.

I doubt anyone can come up with a link blocker, that would defeat the purpose of the Internet, eh?

#nerdnews @ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390168)

there's a bot posting urls/titles (from rss feeds) of news stories from the following sources:
slashdot .org

Internet News Makes You Stupid (2, Insightful)

KNicolson (147698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390186)

Although I get a lot of news through the 'net (both local and from my home country) I also get a real newspaper every day. For me personally, a real paper has long in-depth articles, or even just fuller versions of the same stories.

The other problem with Internet news - it may just be a problem with people in general, but exacerbated by the 'net - is that it creates tunnel vision, only tuning into the news you want to hear, that backs up your own prejudices. I cringe whenever I see people posting links from places like World Net Daily or Indy Media as if the content within is gospel truth, not heavily spun to the left or right semi-fiction.

I know of course that traditional print media also has political bias, but the spin is usually appended onto the pure reportage so both can be separated.

EPIC 2014 (1)

patdabiker (710704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390193)

This article made me think of Epic 2014 [] , as previously discussed on Slashdot [] . Rather sensationalistic, but interesting to think about.

My masters thesis (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11390233)

...was on producing a viable Internet-based news service. I started from the premise that different people read the same news for different reasons, and that some form of customization was therefore going to be important.

This was generally backed by the statistics from the server and the results from the questionaire. The ability to cross-reference and thread stories was also useful, but only to those who had become "involved" in a story in progress.

Based on this work, I'm going to say pretty much what I said when I was doing this work - news carriers will become information repositories. How the user chooses to access that information will become increasingly personal. The ability to cross-reference stories from multiple sources will become increasingly important, as news vendors discover that you don't need both journalists AND editors.

In consequence, I expect the news system to split into various tiers. First-tier news vendors will have journalists in the field actually gathering news. To some extent, this already happens, but it is likely to become much more severe. Second-tier news vendors will have editors but no journalists. They'll compile news, but not generate any. Again, a lot of vendors already do this (see how many quote AP, Reuters, etc) but they usually still have some news-gathering staff. Third-tier news vendors will have far more commentary than actual hard news.

It makes no sense, economically, to have multiple companies do essentially identical work on all tiers. Outsourcing is cheap and allows for specialization. Specialization, in turn, can mean fewer competitors in that field, which means the potential for greater profits.

If my prediction is correct, then I expect different tiers to charge in different ways. The primary news sources would likely charge a small amount (to maximise the customer base) and on a per story fragment basis. The second tier will likely charge a subscription, where the price depends on what features you want. Third-tier commentary sites will likely be free, and will probably be increasingly sponsored by the other news groups.

Advertising on the Internet is likely to die a death, as more sophisticated blocking techniques are developed, and as distrust over potential spyware scams increases. In consequence, sponsorship in return for increased references is likely to be the preferred model in the future. Doubly so, as search engines adopt the Google method of using references to place sites.

I think this domain says it best... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11390236)

and if they ever started charging for news, p2p would be used to steal it...
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