A Global Change of Tune
There is a meme making the rounds on social media in the wake of the 2022 conflict in Ukraine:
The semantics: People who were eagerly supplying opinion on the COVID-19 epidemic suddenly changed their focus to Russia and Ukraine. Speaks of the power of the media to play a music that our minds dance to in connection. They provide a shared surface, a connective tissue to which our thoughts are a reaction.
It’s worthwhile to pause and acknowledge how sudden it happened… the attention shift to Ukraine was a global change of tune. Such pondering helps get a sense of the speed and degree of connection of global news media. Operating in daily concert, they become a weather of sorts, something that happens around us and we must come to live with.
In Media Weather we're bombarded not with rain or solar beams, but rather in words and propositions. A passive exposure to names and narratives that produce in us feelings that we carry and project in the discharge of our daily activities. To blame are the many private publishers and broadcasters reporting non-stop, day-and-night for profit’s sake.
Is this the cost of an informed society? It’s tempting to agree, except when you come to accept that the main product and consequence of our news culture is frivolous media chatter… it just never manifested so vividly before online social media took hold.
Whether our news culture isn’t producing the informed citizens we want or it’s producing overly-informed ones to a reckless point of distraction, we need a change of heart. How might we improve over the current situation? Time and again, the medium is the message. How might journalism and the press look like if they evolved in harmonic direction? May we find out someday.