“Today’s Internet is not the only way to build a network” (Zittrain, 7). Perhaps, Internet is also a way to maintain your competitiveness, especially in the news business. Internet changes everything, and the appearance of the Internet helps the news industry build a closer relationship with their audience.
In news industry, audience is so critical because the number of audience determines how many commercials the news organization can acquire, and thus, directly determines their income source. So Internet helps the news industry to build a closer relationship with their audience.
So why it is important to build a closer relationship with the audience is so important? Nowadays, Internet creates interactivity between the news providers and the news consumers. The role of the news consumers is not passive anymore. They are able to provide concrete news source to the journalists because of the Internet.
So how do they provide a news source? Let me take an example, when some people witness an incident, let say witnessing robbery. If the audience uses the cell phones to film the process of robbery, and send it to the news TV station, the video becomes an important news source, and even good evidence. If the witness provides this video to one TV station, it may also become an exclusive news source for the TV station. In the TV-news industry, the journalists always seek to broadcast exclusive news because it will attract more audience, and thus, attract more commercials. So it ends up creating a strong competitiveness.
Before the appearance of the Internet, the journalist still maintain a relationship with the audience as they provide news source to the journalists. But audience could only contact the journalists via phone or mail. Of course, it was not possible to send out the concrete news source (such as video and photos). So the news might not be so “hot” when it was delivered to the audience.
But now it is instantaneous. When you get something that’s “newsable”, you can send to any news organizations via mobile device. And the news organizations can reply immediately. That is why I say the relationship between news providers and news consumers is getting closer.