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The impact of the Internet on information seeking in the Media1

David Nicholas (Internet Studies Research Group, Department of Information Science, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB)
Peter Williams (Internet Studies Research Group, Department of Information Science, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB)
Peter Cole (Internet Studies Research Group, Department of Information Science, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB)
Helen Martin (Internet Studies Research Group, Department of Information Science, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Article publication date: 1 April 2000

Abstract

There is very little qualitative data on what impact the Internet is having on information seeking in the workplace. Using open‐ended interviews, questionnaires and observation, the impact of the Internet on the British Media was assessed. The focus was largely on newspapers, with The Guardian being covered in some depth. Over 300 journalists and media librarians were surveyed. It was found that amongst traditional journalists use was light. Poor access to the Internet – and good access to other information resources – were largely the reasons for this. Of the journalists it was mainly the older and more senior journalists and the New Media journalists who used the Internet. Librarians were also significant users. Searching the World Wide Web was the principal Internet activity and use was generally conservative in character. Newspapers and official sites were favoured, and searches were mainly of a fact‐checking nature. Email was used on a very limited scale and was not regarded as a serious journalistic tool. Non‐users were partly put off by the Internet‘s potential for overloading them with information and its reputation for producing information of suspect quality. Users generally dismissed these concerns, dealing with potential overload and quality problems largely by using authoritative sites and exploiting the lower quality data where it was needed. Where the Internet has been used it has not been at the expense of other information sources or communication channels, but online hosts seem to be at most risk in the future.

Keywords

Citation

Nicholas, D., Williams, P., Cole, P. and Martin, H. (2000), "The impact of the Internet on information seeking in the Media1", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 52 No. 3, pp. 98-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000007004

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

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