Technology is so far ahead of us in the future that we are all just racing to catch up. The turmoil in Egypt is a great example of how that is happening. Less then a lifetime ago, the world’s strongest societies had one medium of news, the newspaper. Television started to make a name for itself, but the newspaper reigned supreme. Fast forward to 2011, and we now have countless sources of news. The papers are dinosaurs in comparison to the instantaneous delivery of the internet. In today’s world we are not just seeing the explosion of mediums and choices for news, but we are seeing the death of the old ways.
The revolution of communications and media to deliver news faster, up to the second, comes at a price. Admittedly, it is fascinating to see events a world away play out in real time on our pads, phones, and screens in our own comfort and in our own preference. However, in a world where ‘faster, newer and more’ dominate, the very essence of the news is being undercut and lost. Newspapers, by their very nature had a 24 gestation period. This really did allow for the information to be analyzed, before being processed and then consumed. If compared to a service like ‘Twitter,’ for example, the turnover rate of information can literally be in seconds. Place a 140 character cap on that, and you have effectively built a service that purposely sacrifices content and depth for speed and convenience.
The events taking place in Egypt are major in their own rights, but lets place this story into context. Egypt is the hot-topic, it IS the news right now, but less then 3 weeks ago ‘Tunisia’ was that hot-topic. Where have they gone? Their obviously still there, Tunisia has obviously not fallen off of the face of the planet, but the decline of focus on that part of the world is staggering. The all-seeing news eye of Sauron has shifted, hungry in stalking the newest, freshest, meat, leaving depleted Tunisia alone in the backwaters.
The revolution of technology is an easy scapegoat for this behaviour. New tech serves as a great set of tools for journalists, but just because the medium has changed does not mean the message has too. The message that the news delivers is decided by the company that runs it and the company needs to compete to stay relevant. Because we, as consumers, like our fast-food news better then we like our sit-down news, news suppliers must keep up with the customers demand. If this trend continues, I feel as if their will be more stories then ever before in history, but no nutritional value.
I currently get my news from the Globe and Mail, the Radio, the internet, and on occasion the TV.