We just had a new senator appointed to take the place of Hilary Clinton for our state. As I watched the live webcast, and the formal speeches ended, I was amused at the way that the state press secretary (tried) to handle the press. After a couple of minutes of asking the press to return to their seats, he whispered something to the Governor. Then he announced, "If the press does not take their seats in 2 minutes, the Governor will leave." And still the members of the press, like disorderly school kids, wandered around. Finally, someone took the mic and began to call on members to ask their questions.
Just like a classroom, many members of the press then answered. However, some still were walking around and speaking (in none too quiet voices). Also during this time, you could hear the new appointee, Kirsten Gillibrand, apologize to the governor for going over her time. "I was a bit nervous, "you could hear her murmur.
New Access to Information
The new technologies have given those who want it an unprecidented access to information without the commentary. In the press conference that followed, I was very impressed with the level of knowledge that the new senator has on a variety of issues. I was also shocked at the lack of respect and even rudeness that some of the reporters showed during the press conference. I will be interested in hearing what the edited version will be.
What this means is that citizens can listen to either the edited version or the unedited version. When listening to the commentary on the President's inauguration speech, I wondered if I had listened to the same speech. My children were not allowed to hear the entire speech, so we looked for the full speech on line so they could hear it for themselves.
This is not to say that I don't think there is a role for the press. However, the press is not the only opinion or "experts" any more who decide which information "the common person" can hear (or tolerate). In rehearing the President Obama's speech, for example, I was able to pick up on new things I had missed in the original speech (because of the press commentary). It did not mean I agreed with them, but it gave me a different perspective.
Future of the Press
I feel that this is the dawn of a new role for the press. It is important that citizens have access to our govenment processes. We should have access to the bodies of government, including their debates, decision making processes, and even a way to dialog with policy makers. To do this, we need to change our current, old fashioned way of teaching civic education to make government more interactive.
We also need our government officials to be aware that we have access to their decision making process. They should not be afraid of the public, but rather aware of it.
- V Yonkers
- Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.