ARLINGTON, Va. — The Internet can make the news more democratic, giving the public a chance to ask questions and seek out facts behind stories and candidates, the head of the country’s largest online service said Friday.
But the greatest potential for public participation is still in the future, Steve Case, chairman of America Online, told a meeting on Journalism and the Internet sponsored by The Freedom Forum, a foundation promoting understanding of the news media.
Already, though, the new technology of computers is changing the face of journalism, giving reporters access to more information and their readers a chance to ask questions and turn to different sources, other speakers said.
“You don’t have to buy a newspaper and be confined to the four corners of that paper anymore,” Sam Meddis, online technology editor at USA Today, observed about the variety of information available to computer users.
But the speakers noted that easy access to the Internet also means anyone can post information for others to see.