The meteoric rise of the Internet has left information science researchers struggling to keep pace, so that much discussion about the phenomenon has been based on assumption, anecdote and sheer hype. This paper reports on a major British Library funded project seeking hard evidence as to what is really happening in the information landscape, with the media being a case study. Discussed here are results pertaining to user characteristics, with particular reference to age. Contrary to received wisdom, it is the old, more experienced journalist pioneering Internet use, rather than the stereotypical young computer whiz kids. Several factors are emerging, including information needs characteristics, job security, Internet access, experience with online systems and, for senior managers, economic implications. The wider context is considered, such as early adoption generally of technological innovations, and evidence suggests that the newsroom environment may be characteristic of a general pattern of end‐user Internet adoption.
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