Online news expands the traditional values of news, while providing readers an opportunity to transform the knowledge.
News judgments that are applied to print and broadcast news are just as important to online journalism. The unrestricted space and time available in the new medium eliminates some of the differences between print and broadcast news content because it combines the visual and textual elements that divide the traditional mediums. The unlimited amount of space also allows journalists to offer the audience a broader spectrum of news that may be less newsworthy but have a more direct impact on their lives. Rather than narrowing the focus of news to prominent people, controversies, and unusual happenings, journalists can pass along other useful tips, background knowledge, and stories that correspond with current thoughts to the audience. The greater amount of information limits the filtering required by journalists, while increasing the necessity for audience selectivity. Whether more is better or merely more, depends on the willingness of the audience to work for their own news. In addition, the flexible structure of online news sites provides users with a chance to manipulate the news in such a way that it goes beyond information and becomes useful knowledge. The variety of retrieval strategies offered by The New York Times and MSNBC sites is one way the audience can transform the news into information that is relevant to their needs and interests. The choice of retrieval design determines the relationships that are forged between articles. The additional information available to readers from a variety of sources presents a more complete picture they have of how a story connects to other events or beliefs in society. This type of structure challenges readers not only to interact with the content, but to evaluate news outside of the context intended by the journalist, therefore, placing it in a new light.
However, readers should remember, while they are free to explore information within and outside of the site, journalists and their editors maintain authorial control. They still decide which information should be reported and which outside information can be accessed by the user. Thus, the news is still dictating a system of common beliefs to the audience by emphasizing certain items and placing them in a dictated context. However, the knowledge gained from online news sites, such as The New York Times and MSNBC, can be transformed if users make an effort to restructure the information into a context that is useful for them. Users have to learn how to research and apply the additional information available in online news sites, in order to evaluate the information outside of the journalists' set of values and create their own judgments. Thus, it is the audience's responsibility to transform information into knowledge, making more better.