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Chapter 1 sets the scene for this book, looking in a broad-brush way at how the Internet and related technologies have changed journalism and media. It notes how audiences are fragmenting in an environment of excess information, and considers the boom in online advertising relative to mainstream media revenues. It also discusses the way that the Internet threatens traditional commercial media business models. All of the chapters that follow are more hands-on and specific.
Chapter 2 shows how to use various parts of the Internet such as the UseNet and listservs to generate story ideas that are beyond the often PR-generated news agenda, and how to find experts to interview for those stories.
Chapter 3 does the same with blogs and related new media such as moblogs and podcasts.
Chapter 4 considers the issue of citizen or participatory journalism and discusses how this phenomenon, often called audience-generated content, relates to newsgathering and the future of journalism.
Chapter 5 looks beyond the usual suspects such as Google and offers way to use the Internet technologies to find background information for stories.
Chapter 6 works from the premise that the multimedia reporter will need to adopt different information-gathering processes compared with the mono-media reporter, and shows how to do that.
Chapter 7 looks at how to assess the quality and veracity of information we find on the Internet. Technologies give us access to a vast amount of data, but how reliable and accurate are those data?
Chapter 8 shows how to develop a beat using the Internet. It offers strategies for developing an area of expertise.
Chapter 9 reflects the generosity of journalists on the Internet. It introduces the vast array of resources that reporters have made available for their colleagues around the world.
Chapter 10 considers the legal implications of gathering information online and reporting news on the web.
Chapter 11 shows how to do deeper forms of journalism using the Excel spread sheet and drawing on the wide range of statistics available on the Internet.