By NATE DERRENBACHER
After numerous tweets and pushback in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 26, President Donald Trump released approximately 2,800 records on the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.
Today, people are in a unique position that allows them to care about this information more than some may have in the past. Because of the widespread use of the internet, almost everyone now has access to these documents. These documents can help solve some mysteries for Americans concerning the death of JFK, and students alike to help them learn more about the history and outcome of the assassination.
But, JFK was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, which raises the question: after nearly 54 years, why do we care to learn more? The answer can be quite simple – accessibility.
Until recently, people would only have access to the information that was provided to them on traditional TV news, radio, magazines and newspapers. As a result, people could only follow a story as long as a predominant news outlet was continuing to cover the story. Today, however, that is no longer the case.
People have more access to information as a result of the mass use of the internet and data sharing.
President Trump has remained as unconventional as promised during his 2016 campaign trail. And while this case is no exception, it marks a new shift in data sharing that hasn’t been seen before.
Throughout modern history, the JFK assassination documents were held confidential within the federal government for a variety of reasons, most notably, for national security. As a result, none of these classified documents were either shared, nor discussed with the general public.
Trump broke this boundary, but he did something more – he allowed the news media to open a new dialogue and new platform for research. Because of the internet, people can not only engage and view these documents, but they can simultaneously conduct outside research from the comfort of their own laptop computers.
The release of these documents came as a surprise to many, but it showed how, as an online culture, people have shifted, and allowed themselves to be interested in topics that aren’t just breaking news stories or stories which only directly impact them.
In today’s news reporting, most people view these stories online. Through this new medium of sharing content, news organizations are able to include different types of news media such as videos, interactive photos and hyperlinks to outside sources – none of which are able to be included in traditional print publications.
When reading the news about the JFK documents, readers are able to click on a link leading them directly to the documents. This is something that, even 10 years ago, was not widely available or used.