September 10, 2007 Archives
COMPUTERS entered antipodean newsrooms from the late 1980s onwards. I remember these gigantic clunky grey boxes with black screens and fuzzy green fonts, as babyish to look at as a Pac-Man console. Within a decade, computers had destroyed many of the trades associated with newspapers, but the impact of electronic pagination is nothing compared with the impact of the internet and associated mobile technologies, most especially camera-enabled mobile phones, on the way news is gathered, written, read, published and understood.
It has all happened so fast. In the 20th century, media evolved through a series of technological landmarks that seem stately in comparison: first radio waves across the Atlantic in 1901; television invented, 1926; television transmission begins in Australia, 1956; CNN begins, 1980. From there, change is compressed. In 1992 the Mosaic browser made the internet easier to use. By 1998, Matt Drudge's online news and gossip website, the Drudge Report, had broken the story of Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, an event that is widely cited by journalism academics as the birth of online news. Google, MySpace, YouTube, wikis and blogs all belong to this century. (The Age)