Local News

Internet Pushes Other Media on Breaking Stories

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RALEIGH — Internet surfers around the world watched President Clinton's deposition online. The Internet is now pushing other media on big stories.

Because it is so easy to use, many big stories have broken on the Internet. However, only about half the homes in the country have computers, and a lesser percentage have Internet access.

Even so, the President's testimony played big on the World Wide Web.

For four hours, much of the nation watched on television and on the Internet, where quality was not the best.

Paul Jones has contributed to the Internet since its early days. He says these events on the Internet,the Starr reportandClinton's appearance before the Grand Jury, have no context.

"There's a complicated thing when this much data is dumped out, in not very good form, to be looked at," Jones said. "On the other hand, it's better in many ways that we have it than we don't. But it is an odd kind of political act, not a news act."

What was seen and heard on the Internet will be discussed online by the Internet community.

"Now it's done back in the way of the New England town hall," Jones explained. "People are together talking. People are talking at the country store, but people are talking often on the net."

Ironically, congressmen considering a new version of theCommunications Decency Act, which would prohibit pornography on the Internet, had to postpone their hearings to consider releasing the Starr report and the President's testimony.