Finding our way in the Digital Age
Striving for greater relevance in a media-saturated world
I became a journalist at an interesting time. When I was learning the ins and outs of newspaper reporting (with a dash of radio and television thrown in), the digital era was just barely coming to life.
We did some research online, but it was a tedious process. A few of the most fortunate students had digital cameras, the rest of us were learning to operate manual SLRs and developing wet film in the dark room. Interviews were done in person, or via (corded!) telephone.
No Google. No Skype or Facebook. No texting or tweeting. No clouds or dropboxes. The dark ages. But we put out some really fine newspapers, if I do say so myself. Quality information for the masses.
In today’s world, however, what we published—sometimes requiring a lead-time of up to two months—would be considered irrelevant by the time it reached its intended audience.
In the last few years time and space have shrunk enormously, at least in a virtual sense. Many of those holding to the old journalistic paradigm of find a story, research, interview, write and deliver are hard-pressed to compete in the age of instant news, spread worldwide tweet by tweet, moments after it happens.
In a recent post on his blog Making the News Canada, long-time journalist John Longhurst observes, “Making people wait a day, week or months to get information is a path to a different kind of ruin today—the ruin of irrelevance. When people can Tweet or Facebook about events in real time, nobody needs a publication that promises to tell them tomorrow what happened yesterday.
“For communicators accustomed to bundling material into packages, this is a scary time. But there’s no going back. No longer does it make any sense to make readers wait until we’re ready to share information. They’re ready now.”
Here is the rub for ChristianWeek. For close to 30 years, we have done our best to publish news, comment and features that help to make sense of the world from a faithful Christian perspective. Technology evolved along the way, but the way we gathered and disseminated the news remained the basically the same for many years.
But now we’re finding the demand for instant, accessible content is changing the way we have to do things as we strive to remain relevant in a media-saturated market. As Longhurst observes, “nobody needs a publication that promises to tell them tomorrow what happened yesterday.”
This is the challenge that we are rising to meet, to share with readers information that is up-to-date, vital and life-changing, maintaining our decades-old mandate in a fresh new way.
You will notice more current, informative content on our website, as well as on our social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. Please come check us out, give us a “like” or share content that you find especially helpful or interesting. Don’t forget to sign-up for our special e-news that comes out once a week, straight to your inbox, highlighting some of the top stories you may have otherwise missed.
Meanwhile, our print edition still publishes once a month. It provides more insight and analysis, telling the “story behind the story,” getting a little deeper into the issues.
It’s a brave new world, and as we find our way through, we appreciate your support so very much. Thank you for donating to ChristianWeek. Your financial gifts mean we can keep telling stories of what God is doing in Canada and beyond, both in print and online.
Relevance is where it’s at.
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Thank you, from Christianweek.