Before the Internet stuff happened.
Since the invention of the Internet, the same stuff happens, so what is the difference?
The main difference is that more things are visible to everyday people. Things that were obscure for geographic reasons are no longer and can be viewed in all of their glory (or not).
But specifically, things are magnified. News coverage is more saturated than ever. If Obama sneezes, we have Richard Hammond slowing it down to super slowmo speeds and then goes viral on Youtube.
In some cases this is beneficial. (not the sneeze) Take things like the plight of victims. Whereas previously propaganda and the control of media meant that the plight of victims was reduced and in some cases eradicated with them, now with worldwide media being so openly available, it seems impossible for news to stay hidden for long. Cellphone video of protests and treatment of the protesters quickly spread via social media and video sharing sites.
Even in countries where media is closely monitored and controlled, it seems impossible to shut it out completely.
Is this a good thing?
I believe so. While there are always areas where this is turned into a negative; ie: invasion of privacy, paparazzi, Amercian Idol, the ability for anyone to publish news and make it available to the world is a great leveler.
Atrocities are now viewed with more balance. A prime example being the treatment of prisoners of war, prior to the last decade or so, none of the current reporting of ill treatment would have had the same coverage around the world.
What do you think, is this a good thing? Or are we walking a dangerous path?