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VOF Week 3: (Taking Part and Making the News)

It must've been back in 1989 when my friends and I would fight over who would use the typewriter an old man in our East Jerusalem neighborhood owned. Just like running, it had been a competition for us, and not to boast or anything, but I beat the hell out of them! Not only was I the fastest in running, but I beat them in typing too, which is probably because I was the most interested.

I would keep typing like the world depended on it. The hours would pass with just me and the typewriter sitting there; creating noise. Typing, typing, and then typing some more. I would get all the rare information searched in library books, magazines and radio stations, and I'd click and type all the treasured information into my important file.

Information: It was a luxury back in those days. The kids at our school would show off about what they knew and how they got about to knowing it. To get information back in those days involved serious work and dedication; sometimes it would also involve spending money, as information was not easy to get back then.

Now in 2009, information has lost its value. It flies around with hardly any attention. I hear that newspapers, magazines and even radio stations aren't doing as well anymore. Or, at least, the way in which we used to get the news has critically changed, to the point where we should afford to be more critical now.

On the one hand, it's a little scary to be disillusioned by the thought that we matter, as we are possibly more brainwashed than we think we are. After all, we all seem to be circling around the very same gigantic sources of information thrown in front of us without us even realizing it; but on the other hand, we get to have the choice (and the challenge) to decide where to direct our eyes these days. Today, more than ever before, we get to have the choice to pick what news to get, what source to believe, what opinion to trust, and what story to share.

We perhaps do not realize the value of what we have today. It is the chance to not only get the information easily, but to also be part of the information-giving process. We could lazily switch the channels, but we somehow know what we have that chance; to be part of and to be alive in the news. We have the chance to set an opinion, an action, a plee.

When I think of what ''blogging'' means in the media-world today, I would say it is about being given that chance to not only get the news, but to breathe, take part and make the news.

Comments

LauraB's picture

It's all changing

Arda,

Your post jives perfectly with news I heard yesterday. The Boston Globe might go under...run by the New York Times, if their staff doesn't take significant cuts, they could be shut down. Many small newspapers are going out of business in the States. My 67 year old mom talks about our free press being lost. I get overwhelmed by even our public broadcasting here. So, guess what? I turn to Pulse Wire and yes, to YOU! Given this chance as you say and breathe to take a part in making the news. News is not just the taking in, but the interaction. What a great perspective and post!

Warm wishes,

Laura

daryn stier's picture

Wow

Dear Arda;

I loved your blog because it gave me a whole picture of a place and of a particular time-not to mention the portrayal of a fierce and talented individual. There was just one thing I found myself wondering about after I read your piece-if the news we receive all eventually might come from blogs, what sort of responsibility does that place on a blogger?

Best-
Daryn

pearld's picture

Hello Arda, Great story, I

Hello Arda,

Great story, I could visualize and feel some of the moments when you share the story of the typewriter. I wonder the same thoughts in regards to information losing it's value. There is so much of it out there and from sources so random, but so powerful with the myriad of voices being heard. It creates a responsibility that goes beyond just communicating as it will predict outcomes from the readers. Such a powerful tool with so many voices to be heard, with so much responsibility as well as freedom. I look forward to reading more from you.

Kind regards,
Theresa

Kim Crane's picture

giving me something to think about

thanks for your enthusiasm and your perspective. I hope that we don't ever take for granted the wealth of information we have at our fingertips, or the countless opportunities technology has given us to connect and learn from each other. I especially hope we don't take for granted that spark of discovery that you described so beautifully with the typewriter scene in your story, that compels us to learn more about the world.

what a powerful reminder!
Kim

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