The Italian political thinker Niccolo Machiavelli once asserted in his the Prince that individual people are generally self-serving, and in his the Discourses Upon the First Ten Books of Titus Livy that while a multitude is wiser and more constant than a single ruler, a democracy is bound to fall into anarchy anyway as part of the natural cycle of states.

If one looks at the people and society of the West, he can see that Machiavelli was right. Since Western – especially American – society is very individualistic, and because of that the main concern of people in general is profit. This is seen in all walks of Western life, even in the field of journalism, which is geared towards serving the public by providing information.

Even online journalism is not spared from the Westerners’ penchant for profit. The fact that quick-and-easy forms of providing news, such as the use of social networking sites to deliver reports stripped down to their most basic facts, started in the West gives credence to this claim.

While online journalism in the West is geared towards making money, its counterpart here in Southeast Asia is geared towards providing information for the sake of service. This is proven by the relative prevalence of citizen journalism in the form of individual blogs that provide news and opinions of issues in this part of the world. While citizen journalism also began in the West, it became more prevalent and significant here in the East, where the mainstream media is considerably less free than it is in the West.

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