Well there is no doubt that it’s pantomime season, heroes, villains and the participation of the crowd. Take Noel Edmonds for example. A scroll through Twitter a week a ago would have left you in no doubt; Marmite isn’t just found in an iconic jar . But hang on, seven days in, he’s out of the jungle and it’s all change proving that chewing on a cockroach, taking your top off and most importantly, showing your authentic personality can change the mood of the crowd. To be in the media these days (whichever side you are on) means weathering four seasons in one day. It’s all stormy one minute and sunshine the next and nobody remembers the bits in-between. You also need Teflon skin, an ability to cope with the naysayers and a weatherproof strategy to ride out the storms. Noel has gone from Twitter villain to jungle hero overnight with a whole nw audience arming to his cheeky personality.
Anyway, Noel’s not really the point.
The point is that the emphasis is no longer about building relationships and the thoughtful representation of stories. The new world is about satisfying click-bait and no matter where the truth really lies. The online and social channels are fed on instant fodder, which soothes cravings in the immediacy but risks having has no long term effects at all without a robust plan
The landscape of multi channel, 24/7 news means there is no time for investigation or different angles. When you are tasked to keep the news coming you post the first thought in and who care about the detail? Who is challenging us to go beyond the headlines these days to examine the broader implications? The news today just reminds me of how we have moved from the core values of journalism and storytelling but that in the end, sensationalised stories just lead to a desensitised reader. On the other hand, when the crowd gets together behind a theme, things can change.
I am not sure how, but is it time we give meaning back to the real skills of journalism, and stop fake news when it starts by going back behind the headlines to the core of the story?