How are we responding critically to the new
onslaught of information that the internet represents.
With the internet revolution well underway, Sreenath
Sreenivasan, a professor of journalism at Columbia University
in New York and administrator of the Online Journalism Awards,
is responding by trying to tame the new wild beast.
Some have ignored the internet. Others have excluded
those who are not part of the new club. But many journalism
professionals and communicators have embraced the internet and
are now striving to tame the new uncontrollable animal.
One way is by giving awards. Sreenivasan at The
Columbia Journalism School, the same organization that offers
The Pulitzer Prize, administered the Online Journalism Awards
which were presented December 1st.
What were they
"Presentation, design, accuracy of words,
fast download times.... A series of things produce the right
result," said Sreenivasan who teaches internet journalism
courses at Columbia.
"Like radio at the turn of the
century, and TV during the 1950, there are no new formulas
yet," said Sreenivasan. "The toughest thing is that it is all
new to us. We are setting the convention."
Journalism Awards were presented in six categories including:
General Excellence in Online Journalism, Breaking News,
Enterprise Journalism, Service Journalism, Most Creative Use
of the Medium, and Online Commentary. The first five awards
are also offered for original work and also in collaboration
with another medium.
One can read about the Online
Journalism Awards at:
Sreenivasan's whole life has been changed by the
internet. It has made his reporting easier. It has provide him
new venues for his work. He can interview people from all over
the world around the clock. He also uses it to communicate
with family and friends. He can put up family photographs. It
has made things more interesting. It allows him to define
himself. He surfs four browser windows at the same time.
"I have become an internet person," said Sreenivasan.
"The biggest single thing to in my life short of getting
Sreenivasan also has a good attitude towards
e-mail which he receives hundreds of pieces every day.
In an opinion piece for USA Today on Friday, June 9,
"One of my friends and collegues
accuse me of adding to the information clutter in their lives.
They think I send out too many e-mail messages (100 a day,
typically), and receive too many (250 a day, at least). They
even invented a name for it: Sree-email.... It is intrusive in
many ways, but I am very happy about it," said Sreenivasan.
For Sreenivasan, an international person who was born
in Tokyo and is concerned with the issues of South Asians, he
has been able to reach out to the whole world. He was once a
subscriber to the Hindu which he can now read daily online.
"I have friends who wonder how I survived before the
internet," said Sreenivasan.
If not for the internet
Sreenivan believes he would be a business reporter not focused
on tech journalism. He would be teaching broadcast instead of
"I believe this is here to stay and the
future of our lives. It is here to stay. It is very much
here," said Sreenivasan. "There is no end to the way I use
In a Commentary on information overload for
Friday June 9, 2000, Sreenivasan wrote:
"I may thrive
on information overload, but most others don't. There is more
news and more media coming at us from more places than ever
before, but that doesn't mean we are better informed. Thanks
to 24-hour cable networks and thousands of media sites, even
news junkies can get media fatigue. I know of several people
who have decided it's better to tune out than try to keep up.
But the rest of us soldier on."
involved with publishing on the internet for The South Asian
Journalist Association, Inequality.org, and the Online News
Association. Sreenivasan, who also runs a man of year
prediction site on the internet for fun, wished that Gandhi
was named the person of the century rather than Einstein.
"But this has been more a century of technology than
peace," he said.
Read More About Sreenath: Read Some Of His
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The Online Journalsim Awards: The