The impact of international computer networks on news forms, distribution and access: Case studies in south-north and south-south flows of news

1998 1998

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

This dissertation assesses the impact of international computer networks on the size and nature of international news windows. It expands on theoretical frameworks of structural news flow, media gatekeepers, ideological state apparatuses, global civil society, and global journalism. It makes valuable contributions to mass communications research by focusing on an entity largely overlooked by the field: computer-mediated communications systems.

A content analysis was applied to 2,500 stories in a one-week sample of international news coverage drawn from print, radio, television, and online media from a Northern country (U.S.A.) and one from the South (Brazil). The study came up with three sets of findings.

First, online services enable individual users to access news in forms and types unavailable via traditional media, such as raw feeds of newswires, press releases, calls to activism, reports from non-media organizations, and news digests published on a regular, timely basis. Reportage on the online services constitutes a form of global and human journalism. Second, users had unfiltered access to news from a number of media and non-media organizations. Thus, subscribers of online services could bypass the gatekeepers of traditional media and access a news window which was larger (especially in coverage of the South), freer of domestic coverage constraints, and more pluralistic. But concerns also arose about intellectual property rights, authenticity of news sources, and ethical use of public forums.

Third, the online news material on these computer network services came from more news and information producing organizations based in the North (especially the U.S.) than in the South. The economic and infrastructural disparity between North and South leads to a domination of Northern information sources on such online services. Though these networking organizations, as compared to the traditional media, can better function as ideological apparatuses for international civil society, they largely reflect the views and ideology of Northern civil society.

This dissertation identifies recent technological developments like search engines, personalized news services, multimedia publishing, and the global growth of the Internet. The findings of the dissertation can apply to this newly emerging media landscape as well; promising directions for future research are identified.

Indexing (details)

Mass media;
Information Systems
0708: Mass media
0391: Journalism
0723: Information Systems
Identifier / keyword
Communication and the arts; Computer networks; Global journalism; International; Media; News
The impact of international computer networks on news forms, distribution and access: Case studies in south-north and south-south flows of news
Rao, Madanmohan Alevoor
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 59/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780591960969, 0591960966
Hanson, Jarice
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.