How Did We Get Here? Transformations in News

News has always been around. The way we have received our news has changed many times over our human history, but it has indeed been around even since the primitive days of cave paintings. There have been numerous transformations of news ranging from cave paintings to writing, writing to printing, printing to telegraphs, telegraphs to radio, radio to television, and finally television to digital technology. Over all of these years of receiving news we have made progress in how the news is delivered; or so it seems. In the present day we are in the digital technology stage. News is delivered very quickly and it is very accessible. But is it very accurate? The two transformations of news that I believe are the most important are television and digital technology.

The reason why I picked television as one of my two most important is because, in my opinion, television before the digital technology age was the last time people saw unbiased news. Just like Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel mentioned in Blur, the Three Mile Island in

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Free photo by Sven Scheuermeier from unsplash.com

1979 would become one of the last domestic emergencies covered by the media without the concepts of “message of the day” or “spin”. Back in those days media delivered actual news. They did not deliver different versions or different spins on things. They simply stated what happened and they stated the facts. That is what news is and that is what it should be in my opinion. Television before the digital age seemed like it was great. I was not yet born to live during that age myself, but I feel like I would’ve enjoyed it. From the information I have gathered from Blur, television was good, old-fashioned, unbiased news. During those times of television, people could not pick and choose what they wanted to hear. There was one version of a story and that was the version that reported facts; short, sweet and to the point. That, unfortunately, is not the case today in the world of digital technology.

In the age of digital technology there are many different sources of news. This can be seen as a good thing as many people are now able to access news. However I would argue that it is not so good because with there being so many news companies, there is more competition to make profits. Reporters are more focused on making things interesting, rather than making things more factual and accurate. A lot of times articles that are more far fetched will get more views than articles that depict what actually happened, and this works. A lot of times what actually happens is far more boring than what people want to read about. Now rather than just stating the facts on what happened, reporters will take a “spin” on things. They will stretch the truth or assume things and use their imagination to make things more interesting. Some reporters may speak more favorable to one side of an argument and another reporter may do the opposite. This bias results in a lot of people reading about just one side or the other rather than taking both sides of a story into account. This leads to a lot of uninformed people and may also lead to a lot of conflict, which is not what news was meant to do.

Lost in Translation

Communicating online, as opposed to communicating in person, has its pros and its cons just like most everything does. In many ways it helps us maintain and better our relationships. But it can also change our relationships for the worse. What I’ll be talking about in this blog is similar to what I spoke of my last blog. In my opinion, I think it is better to communicate in person rather than living through a phone screen.

Don’t get me wrong, communicating online can be both fun and also very useful. It comes in handy for example if you are physically not able to meet with your friend(s). Personally, it has helped me to somewhat maintain one of my closest childhood best friends. My friend, Luke, moved away after the seventh grade because his dad was in the military. He moved half way across the country to Maryland which made me very sad, thinking my friendship with him was over with; but I was wrong. Through social media such as Skype, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter we have remained close friends years later. He still comes back to Omaha every once in a while to visit and when he does, we meet up and hang out as if no time had past at all. We get along just as well as we had years before. Similarly to my friendship with Luke, social media has also helped me maintain one of my closest high school friendships. My good friend Cody goes to school down in Lincoln, but we still keep in touch and talk to each other virtually everyday through either texts, snapchats, and sometimes through video games on Xbox Live.

So there are many ways in which social media has helped me maintain friendships, but that being said I wouldn’t say my online friendships are more deepening. The times my friendships really grow and become close are when I meet with my friends in person. When you go through experiences and adventures with friends in person it is a lot more meaningful than just communicating online. That’s just simply how you make memories. You never hear anyone talk about the great time they had snap chatting someone the other day. Another negative with online communication is that it can be confusing at times. Unless you are doing some sort of video chat, you have no access to gestures, facial expressions or sounds which is key to communication. Sarcasm, for example, is not always picked up over text messaging which can often times lead to awkward confusion. A lot of times messages get lost in translation when a persons says one thing but really means another. Often times it is something you would understand in person, but since you aren’t face to face it causes you to be confused as to what the message actually is.

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Free photo by Josh Feise from unsplash.com

Overall I would say that online communication is fantastic for maintaining long distance friendships. However if it is deeper friendships you are looking for, I would encourage anyone reading this to try to communicate in person as much as possible. It can make a world of difference and you will definitely make more memories doing so.

The Joy of Missing Out

We get it. You were at the concert last night. More often than not whenever there is a big event of some sort going on near you, everyone posts about their good times on social media. Logging on to Snapchat the day following a concert you will likely see countless snap stories, hundreds of seconds long, recapping the entire night. Now before I continue on to criticize this I would like to acknowledge that I fall victim to this too, so I am going to try and not be a hypocrite. However I would argue that if you defeat this fear of missing out and manage to stay off your device or social media during big moments in your life, you will feel more emotion and the event will have a bigger impact on your life.

I get it. You want to share with others that you are doing something awesome or that you accomplished something awesome and that’s great. But is it so important to share it that you forget to celebrate it yourself? Is it so important that you forget to share the moment with the people that are there sharing it with you? I don’t think so. Nowadays if you go to a concert it is almost certain that the majority of people will have their phone out recording. Maybe they do this to share it with others or so that they could watch it later on. I know I have done it myself, hoping to impress my friends or acquaintances later on posting it on social media. I would think that maybe they’d think I was cool because I was there; or that I have to record some awesome moments to prove that I was there. I get so caught up in it that I end up living it through my phone rather than my own eyes. As a result, I have a far less memorable experience.

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Free photo by Yoland Sun from unsplash.com

Not only could this distraction effect you, it could also effect the people who are with you. If you are distracted on your device you are most likely not paying any attention to the people who are with you. More often than not, the people who are with you during that moment are the people who actually mean something to you in your life. So put the phone down and enjoy the moment with them. Living in the moment is so rare nowadays and it is something that we take for granted. People have such a fear of missing out, on media that is, that they end up missing out themselves. They miss out from the actual experience,whatever it may be.

It is understandable that you want to remember it down the road, so I would suggest a common middle ground. Rather than posting every detailed moment on Instagram, put the phone down and enjoy the concert. Once it is done, grab a stranger and have them take a photo of you and your friends for you to remember this great experience you had for years to come. Trust me, you won’t be missing out.