Academic journal article The Journalism Educator

Reviews -- the Age of Multimedia and Turbonews by Jim Willis

Academic journal article The Journalism Educator

Reviews -- the Age of Multimedia and Turbonews by Jim Willis

Article excerpt

Willis, Jim (1994) The Age Of Multimedia and Turbonews. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers. 239 pp. Paperback, $18.95. Hardback, $59.95.

Until recently, journalism programs struggling to put together a course about the new multimedia have had to rely on newspaper clippings, isolated research reports, conference papers, and the evening news. The Age of Multimedia and Turbonews, the author admits, is not the final say on media technology. How can it be? As Willis notes, changing media technology is "the most fluid topic in existence today." But this book provides a solid foundation for a course on the topic.

By pulling together many of those individual efforts to study this phenomenon, Willis has written a comprehensive book about the development of modern technology in the journalism profession. But he goes beyond a linear history, questioning the legal, ethical, and lifestyle implications of this "new media" and predicting the impact of the technology on advertising and the journalism field in general.

Willis uses "turbonews" to describe the convergence of more than one kind of media into a multifaceted one. The world of information is now one of a "media blur," a combination of print, electronic, and telephonic convergence, he notes. "Turbonews" seems a particularly appropriate term.

Willis' book notes that one of the primary features of turbonews is immediacy. Certainly in a world of computer modems and "Headline News," news consumers are used to getting information that they want when they want it. Simply the way news consumers use the new media--through channel "zapping" and Internet "surfing"--has implications for the way the news will be delivered. …

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