The Pros and Cons of Online News: A Comprehensive Analysis

Online news has been around for decades, and there are many pros and cons to it as a source of information. Whether you want to be informed about the current events without having to leave your house or perhaps get all your news with just one click, you can look at The Island now and online news is here for you. This blog post will discuss the pros and cons of online journalism in an effort to help readers decide whether or not they should trust their sources with their eyes, hearts and minds–or not.

A History of the Internet and Online Journalism

Many people believe that online journalism has only been around for less than a decade. In truth, online news has been around for many years and has evolved over time (Konieczny & Kim, 2009). The birth of online news can be traced back to PubNet, which was created on CompuServe in 1988. PubNet was the world’s first commercial discussion network on the Internet (Flynn &LaRose, 2007). The purpose of PubNet was to provide a communication platform in which people could exchange ideas and opinions on various issues (Greene & Pringle-Ruecker, 2003). Over time, the Internet has been used for many other applications. In terms of online journalism, we have gone from text-based news to multimedia-based news.

In the early 1990s, online news was text-based, which meant that there were no sounds or pictures involved in the articles (Greene & Pringle-Ruecker, 2003). The early versions of online news were not as appealing as they are today because they lacked entertaining features such as video clips and animations. In addition to entertainment value, multimedia features in today’s online news makes it easier to understand the message being conveyed (Ruppel&Zappulla, 2010). In order to facilitate this, journalists use tools such as video footage, graphics, audio and other images (Wu & Chen, 2009). This is possible because of the technological innovations that have taken place over the last few years.

The Internet has been used for global news in various platforms. One of the first online newspapers was known as Newstex. The creators of this Internet newspaper wanted to “create and sustain trust among U.S. newspaper publishers by providing a common platform for their newspapers to publish and distribute their content on the web” (Raymond & Kiely, 2002). This platform was created in 1994 and has been used by many publishers all over the world since then.


  • Information gathering: When using online sources of news, readers have the ability to obtain information from the comfort of their own homes. This is a great advantage to those who do not have easy access to print media or who may not have time to physically travel to their nearby libraries for information.
  • No risk of injury: There is no physical risk when obtaining information online as opposed to going out into the world and gathering it in person. You are not at risk of being injured, mugged or being subject to any other sort of malicious act when obtaining information over the Internet.
  • Time saving: You can use online news sources as a substitute for many activities such as reading magazines, newspapers and periodicals or watching television.

Schreiner Smith