The Digital Revolution

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Explore: Journalism, the Internet, digital news, blogs, citizen journalism, freedom of the press, the speed of news, the news cycle, communication technologies.

The intersection of technology and media has changed the way news is produced, consumed and shared in today's digital world. Early blogger Dan Gillmor, historian Todd Stephen Burroughs, educator Nora Paul and "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams discuss the rise of digital technology and its impact on news.


This video and viewing guide examine how the rise of the Internet has forever altered the media landscape, creating both opportunities and challenges. With the birth of the 24-hour news cycle and the ability to broadcast live from all around the globe, news consumers have come to expect a steady flow of instant information. But sometimes the race to report is in tension with traditional journalism standards like the importance of accuracy. The digital revolution has democratized journalism, allowing news consumers to interact with journalists and even report on stories themselves. With so many places to get news — newspapers' websites, blogs, Twitter feeds, and so on — how can we judge which ones are worthwhile and reliable? Learn more about the diversity of today's news media and how freedom of the press operates in the digital age.

Recommended grade levels: Middle school through college

Essential Questions:

  • How have the technological developments of the past four decades affected how we get news?
  • What problems or challenges have these developments presented? What improvements or possibilities have they made possible?
  • How have these developments affected the news cycle?
  • Who are citizen journalists? How do they participate in the production of news?
  • How are news consumers able to interact with the news?
  • How can the means of accessing news shape the content of news?
  • What does the press look like today?
  • How does the free press function in today's society?