‘We may be generating heat. But are we really delivering light?’
What a superb question by someone with the authority, credibility and experience to put a powerful voice to the concerns of all those who genuinely care for media, journalism and mass communication.
Helen Boaden, Former Director of BBC Radio wrote this in an incredible and fascinating analysis of the state of media and journalism today and where it’s heading in an extract of her speech in The Independent newspaper.
I’ve been struggling with the inevitable direction of journalism in this digital age for some time now, here is a voice confirming my fears from the heart of one of the last bastions of genuine journalism.
Here are couple of very pertinent and insightful quotes from this piece, but it’s well worth reading in full.
‘Studies apparently show that when we slice time into ever smaller fragments and feel pressurised by this, our creativity drops, our ability to perform complex thinking tasks drops and we tend to enter an unsatisfying psychological state of anxiety named by psychologists as “psychic entropy”.
‘We may think we are absorbing more information. In fact we are simply giving in to the temptation of the easy over the hard, the quick over the slow. And I would suggest this is a common theme. I detect a change in our public discourse, a cheapening of arguments and a simplifying of debates, to match the speed of the 24/7 news cycle.’
‘We are, through technology, more enabled, freer, liberated from the restrictions previously placed upon us. We are truly now a global village. But we need to make sure that we do not just reflect the small talk of a village, its parochial concerns, the intense human hatreds and prejudices.
We must use the technology to look upwards and outwards to explore and examine and explain. News will always be immediate. It’s the nature of the beast. So we still need to think fast – but we must remember also to think slow.’