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In The World of Web 2.0, The Press Belongs To Everyone

For more than a hundred years, the means of journalistic production—the ability to report, photograph, and record events and distribute that material to a broad audience—was in the hands of a small group of people who, by convention and law, were called journalists. .

But in this 21st century, the means of production now belong to almost everyone. Thanks to “Web 2.0” technologies—blogs, wikis, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and video-sharing sites like YouTube—billions of people can instantly broadcast text, photos, and videos to audiences around the world at virtually no cost. Journalistic tools are no longer the exclusive property of journalists.

Web 2.0 has made highly interactive online communities easy and inexpensive. And these online communities have become important points of reference in the lives of many people, often displacing more traditional sources of influence, including journalists.

What is now referred to as the “mainstream media” has lost control of its trading tools and its importance as a center of social and political influence. Both the business and the philosophical model appear broken, perhaps beyond repair.

There are many reasons to celebrate this democratization of the media, but there are also reasons to worry about the loss of an independent and professional journalistic filter at a time when everyone can be their own media. Can the online community of “citizen journalists” help us make decisions as citizens and consumers? What was lost and what was gained when “News 1.0” was replaced with “News 2.0”?

What is Web 2.0?

The big change between Web 1.0 and 2.0 was the interactivity that Web 2.0 offered. Consider the difference between websites (1.0) and blogs (2.0): In the world of Web 1.0 (1990), websites were built by IT people who knew a secret language. And they are basically one-way presentations. Blogs (short for “weblog”) can be created by anyone with an internet connection. And everyone can join the conversation.

Blogs are still very popular, but have in many ways been supplanted by the new products of the Web 2.0 revolution. The social network Facebook now has more than 200 million users worldwide. Video and photo sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr have become an integral part of everyday life. And “chirping” is no longer just the screeching of birds. Then there are “wiki” sites like Wikipedia, which allow people to work together to share information and solve problems. Web 2.0 has made online community easy and inexpensive, with revolutionary consequences.

What is the difference between News 1.0 and 2.0?

When journalists were first introduced to Web 1.0 tools in the 1990s, they thought their world had completely changed. Websites have given them access to more information than could ever be easily accessed. And email has made it easier to communicate with people all over the world.

But looking back, it’s clear now that not much has really changed. In the world of News 1.0, the conversation between journalists and their audience is mostly one-way. But only people who work for print or television networks have the ability to reach large audiences instantly.

In the world of News 2.0, all that has changed. Journalists lost their monopoly. Now that everyone has the ability to broadcast news, photos and videos around the world with the click of a button, the lines between reporters, editors and viewers have become incredibly blurred. Journalism has evolved from a quasi-profession – there are no enforceable codes like those of doctors or lawyers – to an activity that anyone can join.

American writer A.J. Liebling once wrote that “freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own it”. In News 2.0, the press belongs to everyone.

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