J. Stewart Cook
The song, “Video Killed the Radio Star,” written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Bruce Woolley in 1977, was released in 1979. The song’s theme “was promotion of technology while worrying about its effects. This song relates to concerns about mixed attitudes towards 20th-century inventions and machines for the media arts.”
Along the same lines, one could title a new song…”Social Media killed the Newscaster Star.” The once mighty “Media Empire,” as we know it today in the USA and throughout the world, was soon becoming obsolete, a relic of the past that can only be seen in “museums!”
Social Media companies on the Internet could not have found a better promoter than the US President-elect himself, Donald Trump. Do not be surprised, these companies can smell a “buck” a long way in cyber space! They see the future in the present and know the media world is about to have a major facelift or a total makeover. It is to be seen!
There are many things President-elect Trump stirred during the 2016 election, but nothing like the giant “wisk” he used to stir the mighty US Media Empire! The “nervous nellies” of the media world soon came to realize that “traditional gathering and dissemination of information” was going to change fairly rapidly under the new President.
Social Media, available to all, was now to be the new standard in the world. Gathering information and disseminating it via the Internet was the “New World Order” for all working in the media field. How devastating! And, what about the so-called “scoop?” The “scoop” was now everyone’s to know. It was no longer a “unique” piece of information held tightly by a member of the media having an “edge” over another member. The media world as we know it today was “fading” quickly.
Like any institution, the media evolved over the years for better or worse. Originally, people enjoyed listening to the news via radio and TV. As time passed, and with the advent of the Internet, social media outlets became popular. But, prior to this, the traditional media outlets added another dimension to their approach in disseminating information. They were no longer just providing information, they were also commenting on the information. In other words, they were now providing “opinion.” Not only opinion provided by the news outlet, but the opinion of the individuals on the front line. Desk reporters, field reporters, were all having their say. Accurate, not necessarily. When has an opinion ever been accurate? If it has, it is often by sheer luck!
In a nutshell, the audience was not comfortable with the concept of reporters providing their opinions. Who really cared what reporter John/Jane Doe thought of Hillary Clinton “staggering” to her motorcade or Donald Trump’s “kind” words about Rosie O’Donnell! It was now getting way beyond “good” reporting. Furthermore, many in the media were of the younger generation lacking the knowledge and experience of the many “traditional” reporters we came to enjoy over the years, as we sat down before dinner and tuned in via the radio or TV. It forever changed OUR “opinion” of the media we once new and relied upon! Even our dear friend Andy Rooney was reporting on “borrowed” time. He was one of the few that America trusted, as he opined on issues we could all relate to in our daily lives. Andy passed on and so did his opinions!
Media frustration has never been so exemplified than recently, with President-elect Donald Trump challenging its traditional ways of operating. Throughout the election campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that the media favoured the Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton, over him. He felt that any news he created was not given equal time as compared to his opponent. And the news that made the “headlines” only “framed” him in a negative light. Trust between Donald Trump and the media eroded very quickly. Those few, in the business, whom he thought were worthy of his attention, would be granted access to him. They were the ones that were rewarded with the “scoop,” a precious piece of “commodity,” when most had to suffer the wrath or consequences of candidate Trump.
So welcome to the “Media World” of Donald Trump. He now holds the “Mighty Pen!” He may use, from time to time, traditional methods of information dissemination, such as “press conferences,” however, he will make sure that he is controlling the event, not the media. Perhaps, in his own way, he will give the media time to adapt to his manner of conveying news to the public via social media websites. On the other hand, his patience may soon run out and the only “scoop” left will be the one with the “cone” on the bottom!