Computers and Journalism

Overview It's hard to think of an industry that uses computers and technology more than journalism. Modern journalists use computers in almost all facets of their work--from writing news stories to publishing finished articles on the Web. Television broadcasts rely on computerized cameras and digital film to capture images and transmit video footage. Thousands of people around the world access online news Web sites such as www.cnn.com and www.msnbc.com instead of reading traditional newspapers or watching televised news programs.

General Information Traditional news sources such as newspapers, television news shows, and radio stations typically have associated Web sites. Use Google or another search engine to search for specific online newspapers and broadcasts. Web search engines have teamed up with news providers to offer news, sports, and weather. Also, be sure to check out news.google.com or news.yahoo.com.

Journalism Links The links below lead to more information on specific technologies related to computers and journalism.

  • Typesetting has been replaced by modern computer to plate (CTP) technology, which uses a computer guided laser to etch letters, symbols, and pictures onto a physical plate. Read about the history and basics of CTP at this link.
  • Raster image processors (RIP) create dot images of desktop published pages to prepare them for CTP. Read a definition of RIP as well as links to related subjects here.
  • Journalists and other researchers rely on searchable public records to research potential subjects. LexisNexis is one of the largest searchable public record databases. Check it out at this link.
  • Television, radio, and print news organizations rely on high-tech vehicles equipped with cameras, computer equipment, and a satellite uplinks to gather news stories "in the field." Read an article about digital satellite news gathering here. Take a tour of a British SNG truck at this link.
  • Sometimes even a mobile truck is too large to take into the field to get a story. Read about backpack journalists who carry video cameras, computers, and communications devices in backpacksat this link.
  • Read an article about online journalism ethics here.
  • Video based journalists rely on digital video editing software and hardware to prepare their stories. Read more about digital video editing at this link.

Additional Links The Internet and the World Wide Web have made it easy to read news from around the world from your desktop. Check out this Dogpile Search for links to world wide news sources.