In the beginning was The Net

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The Independent Culture
It seems very likely that the Internet will radically change the way we receive media in the future, but for now, while the information superhighway is little more than a B-road (on which you're stuck behind a combine harvester), the Internet is changing the media we currently receive. Newspapers have presented the cliche-ridden scare stories ("porn in the playground" or "hacking the Pentagon"), the magazine shelves are becoming "wired", Radio 1 has interactive net nights and every TV show seems to have an Internet e-mail address. Some months ahead of this multi- media Internet hype came the first series of BBC2's The Net, and we are now midway through the second (8pm BBC2).

Initially, The Net was a bit of an undefined generic magazine programme for all that was computer orientated (from console games to artificial life) but now it really seems to have found its place... and it's not very nice. What we now get is a sizeable, but largely content-free, glitzy but kitsch promo for the Internet.

It is a challenge to present what is essentially a slow, experimental, text-based medium in a thoughtful way but the presentation with coloured filters (rose-tinted would be appropriate), Network 7 camera angles and early Eighties pop promo editing neither pleases the experienced net user, nor gives realistic starting points for the net newbie.

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