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The Pros And Cons Of On Line Newspapers

1435 words - 6 pages

The Benefits and Disadvantages of On-line Newspapers

For centuries, newspapers have provided the world with up-to-date, useful information. During the World Wars, America turned to the printed press to receive reports, as the newspapers were a vital source of information for the public; however, over the last sixty years newspapers have evolved from more than just tangible chunks of paper that can be sold on a street corner.

Today, international newspapers can be found in mere seconds with a simple click of the mouse. In fact, many digital media experts believe that the second phase of the online newspaper phenomenon, called “Digital Delivery Daily,” will soon be upon us. If it works, consumers may soon see many different forms of media, including newspapers, which move out of print and into digital (Robins 2001). There is no doubt about it; the future of newspapers may very well be in the digital world. However, is this a good idea? The cyber world is filled with hackers, cyber-terrorists, slow connections, system crashes and excess traffic. When all of these factors are taken into consideration, many people are left wondering if eliminating the printing press in favor of digital technology is a good idea. Without a doubt, the internet has many disadvantages when compared to the traditional printed press. Newspapers and informational magazines should not be published exclusively on the internet because of two reasons: hackers and computer viruses.

Hackers have existed since the launch of the internet itself. Hackers, who pride themselves on demolishing data and changing a computer’s structure, use digital armaments to take advantage of the naiveté of the internet. Although hackers use a variety of methods in order to carry out their ill-plotted schemes, their best-known weapon is a software “virus.” A virus can come in many shapes and sizes, and it is expected that about 300 to 400 new viruses are produced every month.

It is my belief that the internet will never reach its full potential due to the illegal acts of hackers and their computer viruses. The internet is full of endless possibilities that are beneficial to every age and race; however, the digital world will not benefit from the hackers and viruses running rampant on the internet. As conditions on the internet are currently, newspaper companies will in all probability end up spending more time, money, and effort than is necessary.

On November 7, 1996, or Election Night, at least one hacker attempted to shut down the New York Times on the Web. Although the Times was able to prevent this attack, accessibility was slowed for the remainder of the night. While it is obvious that digital news media is often majorly affected by the acts of hackers, the extent of this problem also reaches far beyond the techno-news world. For example, the World Wide Web site of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was damaged by a group of hackers on...

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