Before we even begins to discuss about the topic, we shall understand what does online journalism actually means. A quote from networkedpublics.org says “Online journalism refers to news content produced and/or distributed via the Internet, particularly material created by journalists who work for mainstream market driven news organizations. While blogs and other emerging forms of online news communication are widely acknowledged as significantly influencing mainstream news content both on and offline, they are considered here a distinct phenomenon and treated under the category of alternative media.” There are also other definitions of online journalism, journalism as it is practiced online. Journalism is any non-fiction or documentary narrative that reports or analyzes facts and events firmly rooted in time (either topical or historical) which are selected and arranged by reporters, writers, and editors to tell a story from a particular point of view. Journalism has traditionally been published in print, presented on film, and broadcast on television and radio. "Online" includes many venues. Most prominent is the World Wide Web, plus commercial online information services like America Online. Simple Internet email also plays a big role. Also important are CD-ROMs (often included with a book) linked to a web site or other online venue, plus intranets and private dial-up bulletin board systems (Doug Millison, 1999-2004).
Theferore, why does the online journalism should be controlled? There’s nothing wrong of sharing information or describing your dissatisfaction, nor satisfaction through the website, blogs, or even emails despite the content you may post. However, in Malaysia, some may have misused the freedom given for online journalist. Which answers why we have the ISA which stands for Internal Security Act, that was created in order to control the information and news post online. Somehow, in 2011, our prime minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced that ISA and three other Acts will be repealed. The ISA was a deterrent from abusive and sensitive journalism posts online, it acts as gatekeeper in somewhat angle. Now that it had been repealed, many might see it as a gateopening for them to write as free as they want.
Yes, writing is about the freedom of speech, yet the government had never set a barrier for the online journalist to write, there are only guidelines in order to prevent any sensitive issue such as racism post online. Those issues that may create a bigger scene out of the virtual life online. Thus, I believe that having a gatekeeper is vital in writing. It is the same as if you compare to a simple language test whereby you are required to follow the guidelines. Although a blogger or online journalist may not be a kid writing about “My mom and her cats” anymore, still, humans are tied with rules and regulations, guidelines no matter where we go. How do we perceive and digests all those is what differs us from the others. But the responsible is still there, to maintain the peace in our country.
Nevertheless, not all online journalist are really triggered to disobey the guidelines, there are lots of websites and blogs that provides interesting and beneficial information to the citizen, the consumer of online journalism. Some of them are iluvislam.com, blog serius, rotikaya and many more, depending on their own category and etc. the online journalism should be controlled because deep inside we all know that there are someone out there who are not wise enough to handle online journalism and we can't take the risk of him/her ruining our life later on just because he/she believes the freedom given to write is not free enough.