Francis Rizzo
Journalism and Mass Media Studies Department -- School of Communication
Journalism 150 -- Independent Study
Advisor: Steven Knowlton


The Internet has been shown to have many benefits to the world of journalism. Its ease in distributing information, its ability to update constantly and its lack of constraints in page space are all attractive features to print journalists, at least those who don't fit the mold of the grizzled reporter who longs for his manual typewriter.

Yet it is obvious that there are also many problems with on-line journalism, starting with a problem that has been called 'code first, ask questions later." The lack of an ethics guidebook for this new medium has created an atmosphere of renegade reporting, in which the old rules of journalism have been disregarded. An industry-wide standard must be put into place to maintain the integrity and respectability that journalism has fought for all these years. If not, the words of a journalist will carry no more weight than those of a gossip columnist.

If all of the factors surrounding on-line journalism are considered it seems that the funeral for print journalism will have to be delayed once again. The two mediums should not be adversaries though. If properly coordinated, the new media and the old media could combine to create the most informed society in the history of the planet. A noble goal, and a reasonable one as well.

Terry Schwadron, the Los Angeles Times' deputy managing editor, summed up the future of print journalism when he described the next technology. "It weighs a couple of pounds and we deliver it to your door." The more things change…