On the Internet, "news" does not refer only to proclamations from traditional newsmakers, but also to popular commentary, criticism and gossip traded on electronic bulletin boards known as newsgroups or conferences.
There are more than 4,000 newsgroups that are shared by computer networks around the world, organized by subject. Specialized "newsreader" software programs are used to read and post messages to these newsgroups.
Here are just a few newsgroups that may be particularly relevant for Asian journalists. Some journalists use these bulletin boards to post requests for information or comments from potential sources, to be followed up by e-mail, phone contacts or face-to-face interviews.
alt.chinese.text About Chinese-language software alt.chinese.text.big5 About BIG-5 Chinese encoding alt.culture.indonesia Indonesian culture and news alt.culture.karnataka About India's Karnataka state alt.india.progressive Politics on Indian subcontinent alt.japanese.text About Japanese-language software alt.journalism About journalism alt.news-media About news media alt.politics.vietnamese Governing Vietnam bit.listserv.pakistan Pakistan News Service bit.listserv.seasia-l Southeast Asia discussion list misc.news.southasia About Bangladesh, India, Nepal, etc. soc.culture.afghanistan | These soc.culture soc.culture.asean | groups are for soc.culture.asian.american | general discussion soc.culture.australian | of the specified cultural soc.culture.bangladesh | topics. soc.culture.china | soc.culture.filipino | soc.culture.hongkong | soc.culture.indian | soc.culture.indian.telugu | soc.culture.indonesia | soc.culture.japan | soc.culture.korean | soc.culture.malaysia | soc.culture.nepal | soc.culture.new-zealand | soc.culture.pakistan | soc.culture.russian | soc.culture.singapore | soc.culture.soviet | (Territory of former Soviet Union) soc.culture.sri-lanka | soc.culture.taiwan | soc.culture.tamil | soc.culture.thai | soc.culture.vietnamese | talk.politics.china Political developments in China
In addition to these globally recognized newsgroups, there are other newsgroups specific to particular countries or regions. Newsgroup beginning with "fj" (for example, fj.soc.media) are specific to Japan, with discussions generally conducted in Japanese. Other examples of such newsgroup hierarchies include "hk" (for Hong Kong), "relcom" (for Russia), "aus" (for Australia), "chinese" (for Chinese-language discussion), "tw" (for Taiwan), "nz" (for New Zealand) and so on.