Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Chat rooms are an important means by which news audiences communicate online with journalists and other news producers. Chat rooms have proven to be an important source of information for breaking news and personal accounts related to sensitive topics. However, the use of chat rooms as journalistic sources can raise ethical questions related to privacy and anonymity. Chat room is a term that generally describes an online discussion between two or more people in real time, which is called a synchronous environment. The discussion can take place via text alone, the most typical form of chat but also by voice. Some chat rooms incorporate video along with audio and text so users can see and hear each other. However, such chat rooms are far less popular than text-based chat and are typically used in specialized situations, such as business teleconferencing. Virtual worlds or immersive environments have elements of chat The ...