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Subject: alt.internet.media-coverage Charter & FAQ [1/2]

This article was archived around: 15 Dec 1997 10:00:31 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: internet/media-coverage-faq
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Archive-name: internet/media-coverage-faq/part1 Posting-Frequency: three times per month URL: http://www.cybernothing.org/jdfalk/html/aim-c.html
_ _ _ _ __ __ __ ___ ___ ____ _______________ ____ ___ ___ __ __ __ _ _ _ _ | | _ _ _ _ __ __ __ _|_ ALT.INTERNET.MEDIA-COVERAGE _|_ __ __ __ _ _ _ _ | CHARTER & FAQ | _ _ _ _ __ __ __ _|_ ___ ____ _______________ ____ ___ _|_ __ __ __ _ _ _ _ By J.D. Falk <jdfalk@cybernothing.org> and Tristan Louis <tristan@dorsai.org>. Contributors include David Lesher <wb8foz@netcom.com> and many others. The current version of this document can always be found at the following: WWW http://www.cybernothing.org/jdfalk/html/aim-c.html FTP ftp.cybernothing.org /pub/jdfalk/media-coverage/media-coverage.FAQ.1 media-coverage.FAQ.2 (and, of course, *.answers FAQ archives around the world.) EMail Send a message to <aim-c@cybernothing.org> with a subject line of "gimme media-coverage.FAQ.1" (no quotes, body will be ignored.) Segment 2 would be "gimme media-coverage.FAQ.2" USENET Posted three times per month to alt.internet.media-coverage, alt.answers, and news.answers Release 9508.01 TABLE OF CONTENTS (SEGMENT ONE) I. What is alt.internet.media-coverage? 1. Which topics are appropriate? 2. How do I contact the media? A. Press releases B. Letters to the Editor 3. Statement on advertising 4. Statement on copyright 5. Official alt.internet.media-coverage archives II. Journalists' Common Questions 1. What is the Internet? 2. How does it work? 3. What can I do with it? A. Electronic Mail (EMail) B. USENET Newsgroups C. Chat (IRC) D. Remote Access (telnet) E. Information Gathering (FTP, Gopher, and WWW) 4. Who is on it? 5. Where can I find statistics? A. Statistics about the Internet B. Statistics about Journalism and the Internet (SEGMENT TWO -- in the next file or message) III. Other 'net resources 1. Related newsgroups & mailing lists A. About journalism and/or the media B. Local groups C. Not actually related (but look like they could be) D. Assorted interesting groups & lists 2. World Wide Web, Gopher, FTP A. Sites with lists of other sites B. Assorted interesting sites _ _ _ _ __ __ __ ___ ___ ____ _______________ ____ ___ ___ __ __ __ _ _ _ _ "The people who write the news are on the online services. The people who make the news are on the Internet. Where would you rather be?" -- Andrew Kantor, Internet World _ _ _ _ __ __ __ ___ ___ ____ _______________ ____ ___ ___ __ __ __ _ _ _ _ I. What is alt.internet.media-coverage? The newsgroup alt.internet.media-coverage was first created on June 15, 1994 by the newsadmin at nova.avid.com for "Discussion of how/why/when/where the media covers the internet and its functions." This definition was later adjusted to read as follows: > Discussion of the internet as it relates to television, radio, newspapers, > and magazines. > > There seems to be a growing number of media spots/sound bytes on the internet > these days, and I'm attempting to provide a place for this type of discussion. > > The original idea for this group came from someone in news.admin.misc. So far, this purpose has held true -- regular readers of the group post pointers to articles or upcoming television or radio events, and then critique them later. In many cases, the authors of the article or report will join in the discussion -- and this, of course, is the future of media relations with the public. Many of the groups' regular participants work in the media in one form or another, and are polite enough to make that clear at the end of their messages; however, it should not be taken that they speak for their respective companies unless otherwise noted (though a slight bias is to be expected.) I.1. Which topics are appropriate? As described above, just about anything to do with how "The Media" reports on the 'net is germane to this group. Critique a new magazine, cc: your letters to the editor, etcetera. Often, these critiques will lead towards other discussions, including politics, origins of the 'net, semantics, etcetera. This is fine, though good netiquette demands that it be crossposted and followed-up to other groups before it gets out of hand. It is _not,_ in any way, shape, or form, for press releases or job requests (and, yes, we've had both.) There are other places for press release type material (see below) and there are many *.jobs groups. It is also not for advertisements of any type, though we'll let short things like "look at the new issue of Massive Media Mogul Magazine for an article on the politics of electronic communication" get past because they're actually useful. I.2. How do I contact the media? I.2.A. Press releases It is considered /extremely/ bad netiquette to send large messages to people, or to add them to mailing lists, without asking their permission first. This also holds true with press releases. Before beginning to send press releases to anybody, contact them with a short, polite message asking if it would be okay to send press releases to that account. Even if it's not, they will probably be able to tell you which EMail address to send 'em to for the specific publication or show that they work for. I.2.B. Letters to the Editor The EMail addresses for "letters to the editor," comments, questions, subscriptions, or anything like that will usually be found within the first few pages of the publication (usually in the same section that lists the "snail" mail addresses and fax numbers.) I.3. Statement on advertising. Though the debates about commercializing the 'net and allowing advertising and so forth still rage on, there is a general consensus among experienced 'net users that off-topic advertising (that which does not relate to the purpose of the group) should not be allowed. There are two main reasons for this. One, nobody wants to be forced to read advertisements for products which they would not be likely to be interested in. Two (and this one is the most important one of all), nobody wants to have to _pay_ for the privelege of reading such advertisements. Because of that (and because this document is as close as we want to get to "rules"), please understand that alt.internet.media-coverage is not and will never be the right place to advertise your products. We don't mind seeing a short message like "Hi, I'm the editor of Massive Media Mogul Magazine, we'll have a big article on USENET in our next issue" from time to time -- but be warned that your article _will_ be critiqued. Anything longer (especially press releases) is not appreciated. I.4. Statement on copyright Copyright laws are an ever-changing, usually misunderstood mess in the United States, and when you remember that the 'net is worldwide then the mess is even worse. So it is possible, though not likely, that what I've typed here is wrong. Still, please try to abide by it. It is illegal to reproduce an article in its entirety and post it to alt.internet.media-coverage or any other group without permission from the copyright holder(s) (usually the publisher and/or author.) It is becoming quite common for the author of an article to post it to the group themselves as soon as they get permission from the editors, and this is encouraged so long as the article in question is actually related to the Internet and/or USENET. It may or may not be illegal, but is definately rude (and should be illegal), to quote people's postings to alt.internet.media-coverage or any other group in your own articles without permission from the author. The mere fact that this group is open to the public is not enough -- you must still ask permission first. For more information, check out the Copyright Law FAQ in: FTP charon.amdahl.com /pub/misc.legal/Copyright-FAQ/ There's also a much longer Copyright FAQ at: FTP ftp.netcom.com /pub/ca/carollt/law/copyright/faq/ I.5. Official alt.internet.media-coverage archives The newsgroup archives are accessable at: WWW http://www.cybernothing.org/jdfalk/html/aim-c.html These archives have been processed into HTML, and date back to June 5, 1995. There is also a .ZIP (compressed) file containing the original textual data of each of those messages. Please note that inclusion in the archives does NOT mean that the message was appropriately posted to alt.internet.media-coverage in the first place; in fact, an unfortunately large number of off-topic messages are archived there. For best results, always refer to this document when deciding if your message would be appropriate or not. _ _ _ _ __ __ __ ___ ___ ____ _______________ ____ ___ ___ __ __ __ _ _ _ _ II. Journalists' Common Questions Often, journalists will post a message asking for information about the 'net. To get you started, here's a few answers, plus pointers towards some of the best resources for more information. II.1. What is the Internet? The Internet is a network of networks. A network is a group of computers hooked up together. In the late sixties and early seventies, the American government decided to create a network that would hook up several computers throughout the country. This network, know as Arpanet, was the precursor to the internet. Shortly thereafter, more universities started to hookup to this network. Because each of the universities were running different networks, this new Wide-Area Network (WAN) was called the Internet for Inter (between) Networks. The Internet is not the information superhighway. It is not cyberspace. It is the Internet. II.2. How does it work? The fundamental base of the internet is a computer tool called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol). TCP/IP is essentially the computer language of the Internet. Much like you and I are currently conversing in English, computers need a common language. TCP/IP allows computers to exchange information easily. II.3. What can I do with it? II.3.A. Electronic Mail (Email) The most popular tool on the internet is Email. It's just like writing a letter and taking it to the post office except for a few things: you don't have to worry about stamps and envelopes and your letter will get anywhere in the world in 3 days or less. In most cases, your mail can take no more than 3-4 minutes to get to the other side of the globe. II.3.B. USENET Newsgroups In the early eighties, some young internauts decided that writing to someone by Email was great but that it would be better if you shared information through some sort of newspaper. Thus was born Usenet, the discussion area of the internet. Take your local newspaper and imagine that it is broken down into about 10,000 sections, (called "newsgroups") each of them covering a different subject. That in itself would be pretty impressive. But, what makes usenet _truly_ amazing is that not only can you read the stories written in each of those newsgroups (they are called 'posts' or messages) but you can reply via email to the authors or post your follow-up on the article for all readers of the "newsgroup" to see. Usenet, in other words, is like a giant "interactive" newspaper. Please note that there is an ongoing debate about whether the term "Internet" is truly all-inclusive enough to include Usenet. The main argument against it is that not all Usenet-capable computers are connected to the Internet, and vice versa. Therefore, it is best to not confuse the two terms. For more information, check out the Bible of USENET at: WWW http://www.clark.net/pub/usenet-b/www/home.html FTP ftp.clark.net pub/usenet-b/info/bible-faq Another invaluable reference is entitled "How To Find The Right Place To Post," and can be found at (one line): http://www.ccs.ohio-state/edu/hypertext/faqs/usenet/ finding-groups/general/faq.html II.3.C. Chat (IRC) Of course, usenet was all good and great but someone decided that it lacked _instant_ interaction. So, he or she created Internet Relay Chat (IRC for short), which can easily be called the CB radio of the internet. IRC was built in a vein that is somewhat similar to usenet (see above for description of usenet) with each channel covering a particular subject. There are literally thousands of IRC channels ranging from the raunchy (#hotsex) to the holy (#christian) where people converge to chat for hours on end. Of course, there's a FAQ for IRC as well, at: FTP cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/support/alt-irc-faq II.3.D. Remote Access (telnet) If your computer is connected to the Internet, you can (in general) log onto it remotely from another Internet location. This is called "telnet" or "rlogin". For example, at Internet trade shows, the sponsor generally sets up a bank of terminals connected to a local computer. Visitors use them to check mail, file reports, etc. II.3.E. Information Gathering (FTP, Gopher, and WWW) One of the great things about the internet is the amount of information that is available. There are essentially 3 different ways to read stored information across the internet: FTP, Gopher, and the World Wide Web (WWW). FTP, which stands for File Transfer Protocol, allows you to exchange computer files. To get such files you connect (via the "ftp" command) to an ftp site, a computer which stores files. Both programs and references are stored on ftp sites. Many sites allow anyone (hence the term 'anonymous') to read/copy these. Internet users often compile sets of information called FAQs (pronounced "faks" -- FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions, though the term now means any informational document, frequently asked or otherwise) and place them on sites so that other users can access them easily. In the past few years, many companies and governments have also started to make more and more information available online, such as text of bills under consideration. A gopher server is essentially an ftp site organized in an easy to use menu. By moving arrows up, down, left and right, you can go through menus of information without having to worry about the internet addresses for the computer on which the information is physically stored, or even the filename used to store it. As powerful a tool as gopher is, it is currently being majorly overshadowed and may someday be completely supplanted by the World Wide Web (WWW), which takes the interconnectivity of gopher servers and adds quite a bit more flexibility. The most attractive feature of WWW is that it allows one to mix graphics, text, and even sound, music, or moving video on what appears to be one "page," or screen of information. Instead of being a simple menu-like interface as with Gopher, the World Wide Web can be organized in hypertext paragraphs, where all you need to do is click on (or otherwise select) a phrase, graphic, etcetera to retreive more information on it. The most popular and best-known viewer program for the World Wide Web is called 'Netscape.' Also, for those who do not have a fast enough connection or powerful enough terminal to handle all the graphics, 'Lynx' is a text-only World Wide Web browser. There are a growing number of other browsers currently avaliable, including Cello and SuperMosaic, but Netscape, NCSA Mosaic, and the University of Kansas' Lynx are the standards by which all others are measured. For more info on the World Wide Web, use your WWW browser and access the one of the WWW FAQs at: WWW http://sunsite.unc.edu/boutell/faq/www_faq.html For more information on Netscape, try: WWW http://home.netscape.com/ II.4. Who is on it? Anybody and, eventually, everybody. Contrary to popular stereotypes, the Internet is used by as amazing a variety of people as one is likely to meet on the streets of any large city -- and also people who avoid meeting people on the streets of large cities. Interests and personalities vary widely, and as such the only possible pigeonhole into which _all_ 'net users can be placed is "they all have at least a rudimentary knowledge of computer use." Some people only have access to Email and Usenet while others have what is generally defined as "full access" (access to all the services). If one considers Email and News as "being on the internet," it is easy to estimate a population of about 20 million coming from all walks of life. On the other hand, if full access is considered, I would hazard a count of about 3-5 million hackers, students, academics, and dedicated users. This number is growing daily, even if you don't include the major online services; for example, in Washington, D.C., USA metropolitian area, there are approximately twenty-five totally seperate companies offering that type of "full access," with new ones showing up all the time. II.5. Where can I find statistics? Hearkening back to its roots as a network for educational research (but not all the way back to its /real/ roots, military communications), the Internet is full of statistics on different things. II.5.A. Statisics about the Internet Well, as we said above, it's pretty much impossible to garner reliable statistics about the users. However, each specific site has to be registered with a reliable, nonpartisan system (this being the InterNIC), we've found some stastics on the makeup of the networks and computers connected to the Internet. A study release by the Internet Society in February, 1994 stated that of the networks connected to the Internet: 53% were commercial 27% were research (including commercial research) 9% were governmental 6% were defense related 5% were educational Note that all of these statistics are extremely out of date now. More statistics about the Internet and related networks can be found at the following sites: Internet Index http://www.openmarket.com/info/internet-index/ Business Statistics http://tig.com/IBC/Statistics.html II.5.B. Statisics about Journalism and the Internet Paul Ross <paul@paulross.demon.co.uk>, a freelance photo- journalist, did a data search of the worlds' newspapers and magazines in the commercial database service Dialog, looking for the number of articles written about the 'net during the 1990's, and came up with the following numbers: Year Mentions 1990 2,579 1991 3,289 1992 5,578 1993 11,244 1994 79,513 He points out, though, that this listing is not representative of /every/ publication, and there is probably some duplication and omission (for example, no New York Times.) Another Paul, Paul Kainen <kainen@netcom.com>, replied: "Extrapolating these numbers, by the year 2000, I predict the extinction of all life on the planet since we'll be buried in 100's of feet of newspapers to accomodate the Internet stories!" A more complete listing of Paul Ross's research is avaliable in a seperate file, avaliable via the following: WWW http://www.cais.com/jdfalk/html/aim-c.html FTP cais.com, /pub/jdfalk/media-coverage/coverage-stats _ _ _ _ __ __ __ ___ ___ ____ _______________ ____ ___ ___ __ __ __ _ _ _ _ This document is Copyright (c) 1995 by J.D. Falk and Tristan Louis, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various networks which make up the Internet, USENET, and FidoNet so long as it is reproduced in its entirety (either in two parts as here, or combined), unedited, and with this copyright notice intact.