Online Journalism Gains Momentum

The Internet will be the central medium in journalism for the next generation, according to an online journalism symposium.

About 100 people gathered from all over the world at the 7th International Symposium on Online Journalism in Austin from April 7-8. Rosental Calmon Alves, a journalism professor at the University of Texas, has hosted this worldwide meeting since 1999.

“All elements in journalism will be connected to multimedia at the end,” Alves said. “The symposium set different perspectives and created new paradigm in communication. Following media revolution, academically and practically we are on a different evolution.”

During the wrap-up discussion, Mark Tremayne, assistant professor at UT’s school of journalism said, “I’ve found a big difference this year and last year. We started to reflect online journalism products. Blogs are a good example.”

Alves said the symposium has evolved to an advanced level each year. “Though the symposium started since 1999, people were still in doubt of online journalism, but nobody was in doubt this year.”

“This year, the main focus of the discussion was on how traditional media is cooperating with digital revolution,”Tremayne said. “We’re not just discussing Internet. We are discussing multimedia languages. For instance, the video language on TV is different from the one in multimedia.”

Ashley Wells, an executive producer at, was a panelist at the symposium. He said future journalists should have technical knowledge as well as creative ideas. Wells also said that journalists should obtain overall understanding on what’s happening in new media.

One problem is current education, Alves said “We don’t care about technical aspects. We’re not teaching what journalism students should learn,” he said. “This generation is very different from my generation. They should learn lost of tools and software.”

Clyde H. Bentley, associate professor of the University of Missouri-Columbia said in an interview, “I think the message of this conference is that online journalism is not the future, it is moving forward.”

Bentley also said that citizen journalism, in the long run, is worthy to be researched.