The Internet is a reliable source sample essay
This is true if the information seekers are critical enough to check the credibility and the reliability of the vast numbers of sources available over the Internet. Although conventional resources such as newspapers, books, and journals now maintain their online versions, there are still unreliable sources that mingles with them and look like credible ones ( Clemmit, 2008).
However, determining credibility among websites may be found difficult (Clemmit, 2008). Unlike the conventional journals and books, information over the Internet is easily manipulated. This is why information obtained over the Internet are required to be cited with the respective date of retrieval. This is to understand if the information is no longer there. Because as we know, information over the Internet has three scenarios: first, it may be transferred to other websites without further notice; it may be altered in the same website; or it may be erased in the Web.
Moreover, information over the Internet is widely citizen-generated (Clemmit, 2008). Practically, everybody can share information by posting their blogs and uploading anything in the web space. Although, it is a form of people empowerment and participation, it may also be dangerous. It may not be harmful to be mislead of some information but there are also information that is needed in a matter of life and death situations such as having medication.
Now, we have the idea of citizen journalism where ordinary people report current events using their blogs and among other means. Objectivity, professionalism, and journalism ethics are at stake. Although it is good that people take part in the pressing issues that concerns them, fair reporting or journalism is different from opinion-making. Different groups with inherent interests tend to brain wash the audience towards a certain issue by presenting their opinion sounding like it is a fact.
Nowadays, one of the most controversial websites that are under scrutiny of reliability and credibility is the Wikipedia. This is a complete example of the diversity of sources in the Internet. In the Wikipedia itself alone, some of the entries are submitted by experts while others are written by non-experts. Although the staff and other users exert effort to edit some of the entries, it may be too late because do the editing long after the entries have been published online (Clemmit, 2008).
This is the main difference between the unreliable Internet sources over the reliable ones and the conventional sources. Reliable ones have undergone long and tedious process of editing, politics, revising which unreliable sources in the Internet did not go through. Thus, the though is the judgment should be given on a case-to-case basis rather than to judge the site as a whole.
This is also applicable in the Internet as a whole. Conventional sources, even many of the libraries are switching the ilib system or the virtual library because it is the most convenient and effective way of bringing the information to the information seekers. Again, in the end, the judgment lies on the perception and critical thinking of the user. It is up to him to read the article and scrutinize the credibility of the writer or the organization that maintains the site.
Information seekers should be objective in gathering and analyzing information if their Internet sources fail to be objective. It is in the hands of the individual information users and their very purpose to judge the credibility of their sources.
Easy manipulation, public access and lack of processing and editing are the causes of the not-so credible perception of information seekers and users of the Internet.
Easy manipulation may be caused by the very dynamic and fast-phased information age nowadays or by the personal interests of some groups. Manipulation of information can reduce or eradicate the uncertainty of the users but it can also add to the uncertainty and may cause information explosion among the users. Another cause of lack of credibility is the fact that the Internet is accessible to those who have the comfort of the technology. Everybody can have their opinion posted and may be misleading as facts. It may be very hard to distinguish experts from non-experts. Likewise, lack or no editing process gives impetus for the numerous mistakes in the information posted over the Internet.
However, credible or not, the Internet is an effective way of disseminating information and encouraging wider people’s participation. Thus, libraries, conventional sources like newspapers, books and journals maintain their online versions to reach a wider audience and relatively a more heterogeneous one. Moreover, this is also why citizen journalism is tolerated. This is to empower the people and let them participate in the process of the taking part on what is happening around them. This is to give the information seekers more set of perspective so that they can decide on certain issues.
In the end, it is up to the information seeker to decide which among these wide variety or perspective (experts’ opinion or not) will be credible or not. It is better to stop, look, and try to analyze or at least try to check the institution or the person maintaining the site is credible.
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