Internet’s only as good as its users

Dr. Eric Loo
Senior Fellow
School of the Arts, English & Media
University of Wollongong, Australia


The ‘democratising’ influence of the Internet is only as effective as the political culture and the people’s readiness to actively use the medium for meaningful engagement, and a mainstream media that is capable of being a watchdog on those in power.   This paper argues that: (a) we need to develop best practices in socio-political blogging; (b) the basic principles of ethical journalism  – transparency, accuracy, accountability, fairness, verifiability – should apply to blogs that claim to provide readers an alternative space to engage in honest intellectual exchange; and (c) Internet as a tool to promote fundamental reforms is only as effective as its users, and the environment that allows users to generate new knowledge and critically engage in the political process.