So Google, Wikipedia, Craigslist and seemingly every other online entity or community has something referencing the legislation headed through Congress that could limit Internet freedom. I didn’t want LPJ, which is media-focused, to be left out of this effort, even if I’m not posting about it until three hours before the day ends.
The internet is a fantastic tool. We joked today at the office that if Google isn’t running we aren’t printing. While not quite true, the importance of tools like Google and Wikipedia for modern reporters can’t be understated. Whether the goal is to get a better understanding of a subject before you conduct an interview or to find out all the information you can about someone just arrested for robbery, these are the tools I turn to time and time again. One day without them, or even just a visual cue (like what Google did) won’t go unnoticed.
It was interesting to watch this issue pick up steam and then take off. These bills had been controversial for weeks in certain circles (probably longer in others), but in the last few days people seem to have latched onto the debate. All the sudden it left Twitter and landed in the Times.
It has made for an interesting marriage of old and new media. In so many ways it seems the Twitter and the Facebook discussions are out in front, but it often takes old media recognition to make the spark catch.
Not in this case though; the new media drove this issue to the fore. Even though Google has a corporation behind it, it seemed tied in with the rest of the online community. GoDaddy at one time was in favor of it, but after protests from customers they changed their tune. This strikes me as one more sign, along with the Twitter and Facebook revolutions in the Middle East, that things have changed in media. New media is no longer the accessory, it is the driver.
The difference with this example, however, is it took place in the United States. Our media, in some ways, has now caught up with the rest of the world. For the first time coverage is new media driven. I would imagine this paradigm will remain going forward.