April 20, 2004
Nations are “imagined communities” reinforced by the media, and online journalism has used the Internet to help maintain these communities by recreating nations on the Web, said a panelist during the fifth annual International Symposium on Online Journalism on Saturday.
“Diasporic groups (people living in a foreign country) use the Internet and TV to maintain contact with their culture and reinforce identity,” said Jeremy Edwards, a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, during a panel on journalism and its effects on the “wired world.”
For his study, “Traveling Without Moving: Foreign News and Boundary-Crossing in Cyberspace,” Edwards surveyed 790 college students. Ninety-two percent had traveled abroad. Of those, 49 percent used the Internet to communicate outside the United States and 20 percent read foreign news websites.
Based on the results, Edwards concluded that more travel leads to more international communication and more exposure to foreign news sites.