September 20, 2001

On The Wire

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The world has ground to a halt with the recent tragedy of September 11, 2001. Thousands of lives have been lost; the American sense of security has succumbed to the perils of terrorism; the normality of life here in the United States has been replaced by a deep feeling of sorrow and despair. We turn on the television, and on every major network, scenes of the horrific events consume the screen. And, on the computer, the Internet is being used to help locate those lost, while establishing a national community of emotional relief.

As MSNBC has been covering the events from the moment of impact, the station’s website has become a forum for communication and contact. In this new age of war, a new technological age of interaction has surfaced. Although “new media” (the subject of this column), usually entails media in the arts and entertainment venue, today I wish to write about new media as a means of catharsis, as a support system through which to cope with this national atrocity. Not only has the Internet remained the only constant form of communication throughout the crisis, but it has united the nation with a joint sense of commitment toward remembrance and rebirth.

On the discussion boards at and many other websites, hundreds of people have expressed their condolences for those who have been personally affected by the events of September 11th