It has been a long week.
Simply a case of workload catching up with me but it appears the end is finally in sight! After a week of no sleep & no meals, gave my body a little bit of a rest this weekend. Ending with a Bloody Mary recipe from my delicious new book
One of the pieces I’m currently writing is in regards to how globalisation has affected journalism. In research, I came across this quote. “After three thousand years of explosion, by means of fragmentary and mechanical technologies, the Western world is imploding. During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electronic technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned… As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village”
This was written by the media theorist Marshall Mcluhan ( from Understanding Media, The Extensions of Man, Part I.) in 1964. Amazingly, in terms of social media, this could not be more true today.
Social media is a term which is battered around a lot in the media today. For some, it is seen as the proverbial spawn of the devil – but then again, so was the internet itself some years back. Personally, I think it is a thing to be treasured.
Yes we live in a 24 hour world today, often void of physical interaction. But in some respects, is this really a bad thing? Twitter in particular is my vice. I enjoy that you have to really appreciate what you post in terms of value – making those 140 characters work! And why would you ever be afraid of a phenomena which allows people to connect from across continents? This world we come to know where all it takes is to turn on your PC or laptop and suddenly you have the world at your fingertips is..amazing!
Also, as a journalistic tool, I think Twitter should be hailed as a revolution. The hours it once took to source contacts can be reduced dramatically by just hashtagging the area where you are basing your piece on. However, to counter this, we shouldn’t take Twitter as gospel. I do believe their will be nothing to replace face-to-face interactions with contacts. Just having a physical presence in front of you can sometimes completely change your stance on the story being discussed. I love the aspect of my job which means I get to meet such a variety of people and truly get to know their side of a story. Emotions cannot be reduced to an email.
In terms of legal accuracy, journalism in itself is an art-form that needs to be taken seriously. Facts still need to checked and verified through as firmer process as they always have. If we let this slide, it is essentially admitting gossip as fact. Worryingly, it seems some newspapers and stations have been so pre-occupied in wanting their story to be the first, they have let these rigorous checks slip – and have heavily paid the price.
If it is used correctly, social media is a tool which can be used to do brilliant things. And besides, it’s damn fun.