Note: we migrated this blog from its original http://blogs.abs-cbnnews.com/mariaressa in January 2011. Not all the comments, links and “likes” made it here. Apologies to those whose inputs were left behind.
“Oh brave new world! That has such people in it!
– William Shakespeare
I love the way Shakespeare’s famous phrase – and irony – has been picked up by authors through the years – Voltaire in 1759, Emile Zola in 1885, Rudyard Kipling in 1919 and Aldous Huxley in 1939. It is the inspiration for this blog.
In each of these works, the characters somehow are idealistic (or naïve) and jump into a future world with wonder, expecting the best of human nature. Often, they’re disappointed. In Huxley’s Brave New World, the protagonist hangs himself.
We are living in a brave new world – in the midst of massive change triggered by technology. It is changing the world because it is changing us, our relationships, the way we think, the way we feel, the way we communicate and, ultimately, the way we act.
Convergence is often thrown around as a technical term – the flow of content across multiple media platforms, but convergence is actually very much about people. It occurs within each of our brains and changes the way we interact with each other in our daily lives. Each of us finds our meaning and creates our interpretations and personal myths from the information we consume.
For a long time, I’ve felt first-hand how technology has changed my profession – journalism. From the fax to the cellphone as large as a suitcase to blackberrys, it changed the way we report. The internet gradually demolished the old world. Globally, journalism is being redefined by the migration of print and broadcasting audiences to the internet and social media. People want their news on demand. NOW is not fast enough.
Citizen journalists can be as powerful as traditional journalists, particularly in breaking news situations. Gone are the days when traditional gatekeepers, professional news organizations, defined the news. They are still powerful, but Twitter and FaceBook spread news faster, often in a more authentic way. I want to understand and harness – if possible – this democratization of power. Traditional broadcasting, the internet, social media and mobile phone technology for social change – that was my ongoing focus the past six years.
I remain optimistic and idealistic but am woefully aware of the dangers ahead. I’ve seen the wisdom of crowds turn into a lynching mob: Andrew Keen wasn’t wrong when he said our world is turning into “a cult of amateurs.”
Still, I don’t think we can hide behind barricaded doors. Our world has become more complex, and we have no choice but to embrace it.
We have to make sense of these developments, and be conscious of how they are changing us.
This is my attempt to understand myself, my profession and our brave new world.
Thank you in advance for reading and sharing your ideas!