A. Watch the documentary The speed of news once. Number the ways of delivering news in the order they are mentioned.
___ cable TV
___ live Twitter feeds
___ radio and television
___ The Boston News-Letter
___ the telegraph line
B. Watch the documentary again and answer the questions.
1 Where is the Newseum? How many different newspapers are there?
2 Who was Edward Teach? When was he killed?
3 How were early newspapers distributed? Why was this a problem?
4 How was news communicated during the American Civil War?
5 Why were Civil War news reports not very accurate?
6 Which inventions created the age of mass media?
7 What event appeared on Twitter seconds after it occurred?
1 live Twitter feeds 2 Facebook 3 the Boston News-Letter
4 the telegraph line 5 radio and television 6 cable TV
1 In Washington, DC; 30,000
2 He was believed to be one of the most dangerous pirates at the time; 1718
3 On horseback; the roads were bad, so it was very difficult to send news over long distances.
4 By telegraph line
5 They were very biased because journalists represented their own side in the war and reports were usually censored by the army or the government.
6 The inventions of radio and television
7 The plane landing on New York’s Hudson River
The speed of news
Hi, my name’s Matt Wilder. I’m a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. At the moment, I’m trying to find a good story. I have a six o’clock deadline…but nothing’s going on. I know, I’ll see what topics are trending on Twitter.
Today we live in the era of new media. People can access the news at any time, from any place on all kinds of digital devices.
The internet and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow these news consumers to become news producers.
If you want to be a journalist, all you have to do is post an article online, and it can be read instantly by anyone anywhere in the world.
Journalism has changed a lot during the first days of the newspaper, and most of these changes have been driven by technology. There’s no better place to discover this than Washington, D.C. – home of the Newseum.
There are over thirty thousand newspapers here, covering over five hundred years of news. This is the Boston News-Letter, thought to be the first continuously published newspaper in North America.
This edition, from 1718, reports on the sensational killing of Edward Teach – better known as Blackbeard – believed to be one of the most dangerous pirates at the time.
Reporting in the early days of journalism must have been very difficult. Journalists would ride their horses to the nearest town that had a printing press. Their reports were then published in a newspaper, which was often just a single sheet of paper, and distributed on horseback.
The roads were bad, so it was very difficult to send news over long distances. By the time most people read these newspapers, the news was often very out-of-date.
This all changed when the first telegraph line was built in 1844. Suddenly, journalists could send stories quickly. The telegraph is said to have revolutionized news reporting. This new style of journalism came just in time for the American Civil War.
For the first time, news could be sent at the same time as battles were being fought. War correspondents, and the stories they sent, became very popular. But there were still problems. These war reports were very biased because journalists represented their own side in the war. There was no objectivity, and reports were usually censored by the army or the government. So, stories were often inaccurate and sometimes completely wrong!
It wasn’t until the invention of radio and television that news could be broadcast live. This completely transformed news and created the age of the mass media, where news could be communicated to a huge audience.
Throughout the twentieth century, demand for news stories increased and news technology continued to advance. By the end of the century, there were hundreds of cable TV channels, lots of twenty-four-hour news channels, and the internet had been invented. Suddenly we were in the information age.
This is the HP New Media Gallery. It shows the news as it is today. Visitors to this exhibit are placed right at the centre of the digital news revolution.
They are instantly connected to the day’s news by live Twitter feeds showing the day’s trending news stories. They can also check out major news stories which were first reported on social media. These pictures of a plane landing on New York’s Hudson River were taken on a smartphone and uploaded to Twitter seconds after the incident had occurred.
Speaking of smartphones…
Ah, fantastic! A tweet from The White House. Oh! There’s a big announcement in twenty-five minutes. I’d better go! Bye!
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