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Television and computer technology have changed the world.

The common perception is that the advent of twenty four hour news channels on satellite, digital and cable television, and news being provided over the internet and via opinions in blogs has greatly changed the British press. In order to further examine this argument, firstly the role of the internet and the changes, both positive and negative will be analysed. Secondly the pervasion of a new style of television news will be investigated in the same way. Finally, the extent to which there is an overall consistency between 'old' and 'new' types of news will be documented.

The most prevalent argument in favour of internet technology changing the role of the British press, and the way in which we absorb the news is put forward by Richard Sambrook Director of the BBC's Global News Division. He argues that previously, before recent inventions such as the internet, we could only gain access to the news when it was controlled by media and regulators largely in the form of the established British press. However, since the advent of the internet he argues, 'That world has gone. We now have unlimited information available, it has been commoditised and democratized. Thanks to the internet, the role of the media gatekeeper has gone.' He argues that the old examples of the 1992 General Election where papers such as The Sun can claim to have won an election are over, 'News organizations do not own the news anymore…they no longer control or order what the public know. Recent examples have shown this to be true, with the 'breaking' of stories to do with the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the 'cash for honours' inquiry into the present government being led as much online as in the traditional press. Martin Stabe, though a critic of internet news, confesses that much of the mainstream press puts as much effort to its internet sphere as its traditional output. He suggests this is because it can react to events quicker, 'Newspaper journalists are not geared to instant news, it's not what they do.' He correctly identifies the prominence of the internet press. All the mainstream tabloid and broadsheet newspapers have websites now. The Guardian has successfully combined news that will appear on the internet before they put it into print, with a blog section 'comment is free' which allows you to read all the editorials without buying the newspaper. However, some have been critical of the changes the internet has made. Dr Barbara O'Neill questions the fact that many pieces of news broken on the internet have not been fully researched and do not have the usual attributable sources, '…the reader has no way of knowing what is true.' Journalist for The Independent Robert Fisk agrees, 'I'm not some cranky left wing or right wing nut. We are a newspaper, that's the point. That gives us an authority; most people are used to growing up with newspapers. The internet is a new thing, and it's also unreliable.'

However, to an extent very little has actually changed. Richard Sambrook argues that rather than giving control of news to the consumer, media groups have more power than ever, '…the explosion in sources of information in a multi-channel age, and the insularity of source of the political media classes means that the influence of the press has become over-inflated.' The establishment view that it is argued that the press puts forward has changed little for all this new technology. Robert Fisk argues this in relation to the treatment by Sky News' 24 hour news channel of the Israel-Palestine conflict, 'The Israel line- that Palestinians are essentially responsible for violence, responsible for the killing of their own children by Israeli soldiers, responsible for refusing to make concessions for peace-has been accepted almost totally by the media.' The Sun has shown this on their website, using it to attack Labour Deputy-Leadership contender Peter Hain as a 'leftie Dinosaur.' Therefore, people with these political viewpoints feel that new technology has not changed the British press significantly. Empirical evidence suggests that new mediums are just used to put forward similar hegemonic world views, 'While all the channels provide a degree of political balance, both commercial channels are more likely to focus on a newsworthy view of the world, whereas News 24 is more likely to maintain a balanced view.' This is supported by the evidence taken from a crime story reported on all the stations; on Sky and ITV the figures showing rising crime were shown, on the BBC both those suggesting it was rising, and those which could lead to the opposite conclusion were shown.'

There have been changes that had reverberated across the British media. People are given voice and an immediacy through the internet. Rolling news 24 hours a day also provides us with our main viewing content. All this has affected the printing press which has moved into the internet sphere in order to compete. Yet, some negative aspects to this modern journalism have emerged. There is also a persuasive argument that these new technologies provide new ways of transmitting old worldviews. In the final analysis, changes have taken place in the British press because of new technology, but it is too early to ascertain that these have changed the world.

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