Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Future is Arriving Faster Than Ever

By Alan Caruba

On the last day of 2014 I received a lapel pin from the Society of Professional Journalists in honor of my having been a member since 1979, thirty-five years ago. I confess I was a little stunned to think I had been an editor and reporter that long ago. Indeed, I had been one for several years even before I joined the Society.

I doubt that today’s generation of young journalists have ever used a manual typewriter nor know what it feels like to hold the pieces of metal that a linotype machine created to make a column of newsprint.

In theory journalism still has the same objectives; to get the facts and tell the story as objectively as possible.

Today, however, journalism has become far more subjective and the issue of bias blazes off the pages and from the television screen in terms of the selection of the events that are reported and the facts selected to be the news.

There is an old saying in newsrooms that reporters are liberal and editors are conservative, but these days much of what appears on editorial pages and in the print and broadcast news is a blatant liberal interpretation of what is or is not news.

This old journalist cannot escape the feeling that what we are reading much of the time is little more than a government press release handout. Sadly, I think we are witnessing a significant reduction of investigative journalism in the mainstream media. Fortunately that void is filled in these days by Internet sites that focus on various elements of the news occurring in the nation and the world.
It was not, for example, a journalist who discovered the truth about Jonathan Gruber and his role in creating ObamaCare. He's now famous for calling voters "stupid."
These days, according to the Pew Research Journalism Project, “Even at a time of fragmenting media use, television remains the dominant way that Americans get news at home, according to a (2013) Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen data. And while the largest audiences tune into local and network broadcast news, it is national cable news that commands the most attention from its viewers.”
Now ask yourself if you’ve become accustomed to people walking down the sidewalk apparently talking out loud to themselves when in fact they are on a cell phone? Indeed, I rarely get in an elevator or go anywhere without seeing people who are looking at a device in their hand with which they are checking their email or conversing with someone. They are, however, literally cut off from any inter-relation with anyone around them, often oblivious to what is occurring.
In terms of how new technologies have occurred in my lifetime, it is fair to say that the future is arriving even more swiftly than it did in the past.


TexasFred said...

Change is good, I embrace change and I try to learn something new every day, and I find myself learning a great deal of it from YOU Alan...

Thank you Sir, for being my friend and for just being there and being you!

Happy New Year...

Alan Caruba said...

I am blessed to have you among my personal friends. Here's a wish for a happy and healthy 2015.

curiousone said...

Thanks for your blog; I read it just about every day and treasure your insight. Here's hoping that 2015 brings blessings to you and yours.
Marshall McLuhan was uncanny in his accurate predictions pertaining to the new electronic age of information. We are now in the 'global village' and some of his predictions of positives are increasingly happening. Distance is no longer relative freeing people to live outside of cities. It is revolutionizing education, shopping, stock market participation, etc. The old 19th century school is obsolete, as more and more people turn to such alternatives as home schools with lots of online support from such endeavors as the Khan Academy. Every child can finally learn at his own pace and through his own unique style of learning. The decentralization is unique in the past 300 years where people HAD to move to urban areas for everything. We don't have to depend upon the New York Pravda for news, and this is unique in my lifetime. I think of the internet as our glasnost.

Alan Caruba said...

Good points. Glad you enjoy my commentaries. And yes, change does seem to be happening faster and I think for the better.