The theme of this month has been looking at how the way we consume information and communicate with internet, telephone and television has changed. One thing that touches on all those mediums is news. News used to just mean the daily paper and the anchor on local broadcast television (or a nosy neighbor calling you with gossip.)
“Film at eleven.”
The cable television age brought 24 hour news into our living rooms, giving us access to national and global stories that may have taken the rest of the day or longer to get to you. The world changed how we expected to get our updated information. Major events like the Gulf War and 9/11 played out in front of our eyes. We needed every detail as soon as possible.
The internet then allowed us to begin getting the news on our schedule. You could search for the news and news sites that interested you. You no longer had to settle for what the producers of broadcast and cable news programs deemed newsworthy; you were your own news director. What more could you want?
“This just in…”
How do you get your Breaking News now? Twitter, Facebook and even text messages alert us to major happenings almost immediately. The plane crash in the Hudson River in 2009 marked a major shift in how the world was expecting their news. Reports from Twitter were immediate and users were able to share information faster than major news organizations could get their facts straight. These days, many social media users rely on their Twitter or Facebook feeds to give them news facts, images, videos and links. Immediately sharable, you can be aware of things literally as they happen.
Is this too much? Do you like knowing about these events, sometime graphic and disturbing, immediately or do you still like the talking heads to deliver you the news in the comfort of your cozy living room? You have that option, which is the best part.
Just in case you didn’t get the article’s title reference, see this clip from The Great Space Coaster’s Gary Gnu.