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National / Sci&Edu Email this Article  Print this Article 
Digital technology keeps journalists busier
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-05-17 13:25

Television news crews, reporters, photojournalists and visitors came to the St Patrick's Church on Church Street in Iowa City on the morning of April 14.

Tornados had torn away a large chunk of the church's roof the previous night in this Midwest city in theUnited States.

Amid the commotion, Erin Jordan, from the Des Moines Register newspaper, sat on the ground right across the street, busy typing on her laptop computer.

She told me that she was feeding new information into the newspaper's website.

Her work in a way demonstrates how far print journalists have gone along with the digital revolution since the introduction of personal computers and then the Internet.

During my recent trip to the United States, where I taught a few classes on Chinese culture and covered Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States for China Daily, the Internet, via my laptop, connected me with my colleagues in the Beijing office throughout the six weeks.

Apart from the e-mails, via which I sent most of my columns and articles, I IM'ed my colleagues often via MSN.

Most of my journalist-colleagues I bumped into in the United States were armed with laptops, digital recorders and some even with digital cameras. They wrote and sent stories and news photos to their organizations almost right on the spot.

Wireless connection to the Internet enabled us to search for references and double-check facts.

For example, in the Future of Flight hall at Boeing, where the local Seattle business community organized a luncheon with Chinese President Hu Jintao, I made a search for the day when the deputies of the 10th National People's Congress cast their vote to elect Hu as Chinese president. It was on March 15, 2003.

When I was in the field, my colleagues could always catch me via my cell phone.

On the night when tornados just passed through Iowa City, my friend and I heard quite a number of people reporters as well as residents feed their observations of the damages into their cell phones, clearly connected to local news media outlets.

Now that we are all linked via the wireless technology and the Internet, many of us have found ourselves busier than ever before.

However, some have become lazy. They believe they'd know almost everything in the world from their office, by surfing on the Internet and making phone calls.

But those who report from war zones, who trek their ways along unbeaten paths into remote villages and far corners of the earth, deserve our admiration. Genuine reporting comes only from visiting the sites where news events take place.

Source:China Daily 
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