This past week I’ve been considering (again) how media is changing and whether or not it’s working for us. One of my clients has just opening an exhibit – More Than just Games; Canada and the 1936 Olympics. (www.vhec.org) It is a fascinating look at Canada’s part in the Olympics held in Nazi Germany during the rise of the Third Reich. Of course in 1936 there were few media voices. So even when a reporter had a strong warning – as then Toronto Star’s Matthew Halton did about Hilter’s activities – this voice was not widely heard.
In striking contrast we have last week’s balloon boy brouhaha. Anyone who wanted to had a voice. And video. And 140 characters to update, pray, comment, update, worry and wonder. For hours we were subjected to minute-by-minute musings. Meantime new media pundits were doing high fives about how technology meant social media had streaked past traditional media in getting us the scoop.
All I’m saying is, like the silver balloon, maybe we need to come down softly somewhere in the middle. The paucity of voices at the 1936 Olympics limited debate but thousands of comments on YouTube videos and tweets zipping through the ether for hours don’t tell a story well either. Let’s blend the best of old with the best of new – and just get along.