RealNews

War Is Test of High-Speed Web

For decades, Americans have anxiously followed each war through a new communications medium, from the early silent films of World War I to the 24-hour cable news coverage of the first Persian Gulf war. Now, with bombs exploding in Baghdad, a sudden surge in wartime demand for online news has become a pivotal test of the potential of high-speed Internet connections, both to attract users to online media outlets and to persuade them to pay for the material they find there, just as the value of CNN persuaded millions to subscribe to cable during the last war in Iraq. Inspired by a steady rise over the last 18 months in the number of people with high-speed Internet access, now at more than 70 million in the United States, the Web sites of many of the major news organizations have hastily assembled a novel collage of live video, audio reports, photography collections, animated weaponry displays, interactive maps and other new digital reportage. These Internet services are capitalizing on the remarkable abundance of sounds and images available from video cameras focused on Baghdad and journalists traveling with troops. And they have found a captive audience of American office workers at their PC’s during the early combat. Full Story

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