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Being First in the Digital Age

Having recently reincarnated my voice in the twitter sphere, one of the biggest things I have noticed of late is that the race to post first is outweighing the race to post quality. This is true not only for twitter but also online newspapers which are increasingly dominating the market. I love reading the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ digital newspaper on my iPad, but one of my secret loves is downloading the newest addition as soon as it comes out and then refreshing it to notice half an hour later they have posted a correction to the article and an apology at the bottom. Why couldn’t they have waited another half hour to spell and fact check it? Why did it have to be first? I can’t help but reflect on the youthful advice my old school teacher once bequeathed to me.

“Books are much better sources than the internet, therefore your essay requires a minimum of ‘x’ physical sources to pass the assignment”

Print media is better than online?

But this was almost 10 years ago and the internet has changed a lot since then. These days Google Books and open source journals have completely changed the way we research and reference with most essays nowadays being dominated by online sources with few if any physically printed sources. Let’s face it, why would you physically search for a book when you can just type and get the online form in Google?

Plus books take forever to get published, and by the time there is a physical source, no one cares anymore. It’s old news! Right?

But this is indeed the problem. We become so addicted to immediate news that we are clouded by the weasel words such as ‘allegedly”, “possibly”, “unconfirmed reports” etc. in breaking news stories, that we forget that facts take a lot longer to emerge than just seconds after the event. We saw this no clearer than in the Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre.

Another thing I’ve noticed comes from the expansion of the amount of people I follow on twitter. I have many different sources to break to me cricket news so when someone gets out, I immediately check twitter to see who won, as in which account was first to post the dismissal. If I check twitter half an hour later, I feel stupid about commenting about it. It’s over. It’s old news. Who cares anymore?

And that is indeed the problem with the digital age. We all love information. We love it coming in fast, and there seems to be a lack of quality surrounding such immediacy.

Perhaps my teacher was right. Physical sources have the advantage of the whole story as it is seen over a long period of time. Edits can be made, facts can be checked, quality can be assured.

However, facts change. Stories change. Physical sources will never be the same again thanks to social media, blogs and digital newspapers.Therefore one must learn to judge immediate facts with caution. We live in a world of constant changes and updates. Therefore if you want the best, most qualitative and immediate source…

Use Wikipedia. Just don’t quote it.

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Talkback TV

Analog, digital, 3D…What’s next in this interactive summit our lives have hit in this revolutionary technology age. I was thinking the other day about the evolution of certain technologies and where they all stand. It’s PRINT vs SOUND vs MULTIMEDIA going head to head in a war of attrition. They are both moving at such an impecable speed that it is hard to say whether any will ever become redundant. Will 50 years from now we still be getting the morning paper from the shops? Will we still get the morning radio bulletins in the car? Will we still be watching the news on our, lets say 3D TV’s? Or will every form of news and entertainment converge into some kind of super internet hybrid?

It’s hard to say but what interests me the most is the ‘video killed the radio star’ debate. I thought for a time about the death of radio. Sure it’s joined the likes of digital television through its interactive and online features, but does it not get to a point where the two merge. With digital radio’s we’re starting to have pictures and now even internet feeds. Television now streams radio. So which is which? It’s like we’ve got a batter who can bowl, and a bowler who can bat, the more socitiety innovates, we’ll get to the point of a straight allround machine that does everything, won’t we?

Well one thing radio has always had is its interaction with the public. Sure television has it, but no where near to the extent and I argue if it ever will. I speak of TALKBACK RADIO. Sometimes a whole radio show will be about a persons opinion on something going on in society. Radio captures the essence of what the public wants, what they want to talk about, and streams it to the masses. Television has a form of lets say TALKBACK TV in live broadcasts, but it’s all scripted, public members chosen carefully, edited and manipulated music, camera engles, lighting. Bascially TALKBACK TV is really just not possible. Or atleast could never do justice to what radio does. This is but one reason I belive radio is still out there thriving.

Radio: Information for the masses-
Author: The masses.

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