While there is really no substitute for going out there and 'getting the news' or being a newshound, don't you think Google and Wikipedia between them have pretty much transformed the way we work in the media. In a get-rich quick world where no-body is expected to remember a pretty face or worse still a byline beyond a few seconds, these two online tools have been short-cut extremis devices.
Even though this means that sometimes what look like well researched articles read dangerously like Wikipedia entries, it also means work gets done a lot quicker. I have no clue what I would do without Google. Roll over and die maybe. because the Bossman and his ilk sometimes ask for the most innocuous of information which if you were trying to find stuff the old way would take a few years. But then again, Google has made accessible a whole treasure trove of information to people. One can argue that the internet already might have had the information, but how many people would care to go to the BSE or NSE website and search through reams of information for a specific bit of data. No matter how easy to access or well-designed the site, unless you know what the hell you're looking for as a journo, you'll still use Google. Heck, I'll admit that I've found the strangest sites through Google as well.
I would guess I've become quite good at setting search strings and exploring the whole gamut of Google services, including the very good desi version of Google Local, which I believe will be merged with Google maps and kill the dreams of quite a few Indian start-ups - I know people are screaming over at Web18! But has Google changed the way you report or access information?
PS : Just discovered this while going through Google Analytics. Well, must admit I'm a tad surprised! Also, someone asked for a post on the radio business, and I have to admit I really don't know that much other than the fact that 104.8 FM is the worst channel on earth. And I also hear stories that two senior eds from TVTN have quit to join the Samajwadi Party mouthpiece - Sahara Samay at salaries of Rs 7.5 lakh per month. Of course, if the TV channel is run as well as the airline was run, I don't know how money will really help. Of course, to sell your ethics to protect Mulayam and Amar for that kind of money is well... dunno what to say!