Online News and Public Affairs
This chapter examines the seeming contradictions of online news and how the online news environment will evolve. It first considers how the news business operates online and how the news is influenced, created, and consumed by Internet audiences. It then looks at audience selectivity and news specialization, the fragmentation of knowledge in the online environment, the concept of information democratization, and how attending to the news affects what people know about public affairs. It also analyzes how the apparent contradictions and conflicts regarding online news relate to some of the most important potential consequences of the evolution of news on the Internet. In particular, it discusses how online news will interact with other social institutions and phenomena. The chapter concludes by assessing the future of online news and the ways in which news may develop online and offline.
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