What did we do before the internet came into our lives? Apparently most people can’t remember either. In Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism latest study “The State of News Media 2011”. For the first time, more people (46%) get their news online than from any other sources.
It’s becoming clear – if it wasn’t before –that the culture of information acquisition is shifting. Both “Knowledge of Climate Change Among Visitors to Science and Technology Museums” and The Ocean Project’s “America, the Ocean, and Climate Change” reveal that more people are citing the internet as their source of information (61% and 64.2% respectively).
For zoos, aquariums, science museums (ZAMs) in the 21st century to remain relevant, and with so many other competing purveyors of information on the internet (most notably corporations and industry lobby groups), it is critical that ZAMs (and other trusted conservation-oriented organizations) step up quickly to meet the information demand/supply gap for environmental news that The Ocean Project’s research has identified.
Initial information gathering and follow-up visits are more likely to take place in the cyberworld. The cyber portal is growing in importance, and individually and collectively as a conservation community we need to be able to provide web visitors with relevant information for fast and easy consumption.