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The early internet, known as ARPANET, was controlled by the U.S. Department of Defense and used mostly by academics. It became available to a wider public with the release of the Netscape browser in 1994. At first, news websites were mostly archives of print publications. An early online newspaper was the Electronic Telegraph, published by The Daily Telegraph. A 1994 earthquake in California was one of the first big stories to be reported online in real time. The new availability of web browsing made news sites accessible to more people. On the day of the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995, people flocked to newsgroups and chatrooms to discuss the situation and share information. The Oklahoma City Daily posted news to its site within hours. Two of the only news sites capable of hosting images, the San Jose Mercury News and Time magazine, posted photographs of the scene.
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These alterations inevitably have fundamental ramifications for the contemporary ecology of news. "The boundaries of journalism, which just a few years ago seemed relatively clear, and permanent, have become less distinct, and this blurring, while potentially the foundation of progress even as it is the source of risk, has given rise to a new set of journalistic principles and practices", Schudson puts it. It is indeed complex, but it seems to be the future.
Some commentators on news values have argued that journalists' training in news values itself represents a systemic bias of the news. The norm of objectivity leads journalists to gravitate towards certain types of acts and exclude others. A journalist can be sure of objectivity in reporting that an official or public figure has made a certain statement. This is one reason why so much news reporting is devoted to official statements. This lemma dates back to the early history of public news reporting, as exemplified by an English printer who on 12 March 1624 published news from Brussels in the form of letters, with the prefacing comment: "Now because you shall not say, that either out of my owne conceit I misliked a phrase, or presumptuously tooke upon me to reforme any thing amisse, I will truly set you downe their owne words."
It has been acknowledged that sponsorship has historically influenced various news stories. This history gained widespread attention following the release of the film Anchorman 2. One example in recent time is the fact that Facebook has invested heavily in news sources and purchasing time on local news media outlets. TechCrunch journalist Josh Continue even stated in February 2018 that the company "stole the news business" and used sponsorship to make many news publishers its "ghostwriters." In January 2019, founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that he will spend $300 million in local news buys over a three-year period.