JOMC 242 has been quite the experience – to learn, to dissect, to try to understand, and to predict the future – all while attempting to make sense of the present. Mass communication, today, is in a state of transition. As we move from print, such as newspapers, we’ve entered the digital era where everyone has a voice and the opportunity to allow others to hear it. Our generation has distrust in the institutions and we rather hear the story from a by-stander than a journalist, trained to articulate the news. I myself threw away trust a long time ago – when I acknowledged issues with the system. Individuals being gunned down that could’ve been my brothers or my future son puts a taste of disgust in my spirit for all things “televised.” See, like others, I’ve developed a disliking for news that “they” want us to hear about – it must be faulty. My generation needs a video, a picture, a recording, and access to an eyewitness; someone or something that we can experience ourselves! My professor, John Robinson, recently proposed, “What happens to Democracy without the Newspaper to advocate and display the issues within a community?” Which led me to think of a larger issue at hand, “What happens to Democracy, when there’s no central source advocating for us – the people?” What happens in the future when primary news sources are no longer around? What happens to democracy when state and local congress doesn’t care “how they appear” because there’s no longer a newspaper to document the untelevised?
Well in the past few weeks I’ve developed a forecast of my own, regarding the future of Democracy and the future of Journalism. The future of journalism will encompass a parallel to what is now known as “Twitter” of video and tweets regarding news. The network will develop a metric that combines related videos and tweets, together, to produce a “world view” on a situation in real-time – as it occurs. The people of the world will be the journalists and journalism will simply be a metric that captures and combines the various perspectives.
Now, that I’ve got my future insight out of the way…It’s time to reminisce on my most valued lesson of class: Net Neutrality Matters!
Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog that informed my readers on the importance of Net Neutrality. The Internet, at the time, was undergoing legal decisions and one was rather or not the FCC would maintain control over the Internet. Professor Robinson proposed a valuable question, throughout this debate, which was, “Is the world wide web a public utility?” Pondering on the questions for all of fifteen seconds, the answer is yes! Just like electricity, the Internet is a resource, that as a society, we have become highly dependent upon. The Internet grants us our right to information, our right to an education, and our right to have open access to perspectives across the world. A debate, I never sought myself adamantly fighting for.
God willing, the Internet will remain accessible to all and FCC will maintain control. However, as the Internet becomes more powerful – I foresee heavier regulation and restriction surrounding our freedom on the platform, in a manner that will mimic society. It’s an issue that I have now pledged to keep my eyes open to, because it affects not only myself but also the way in which my generation innovates. If the Internet becomes limited, then so will our knowledge and more significantly our future.
As journalism and mass communication changes from its traditional core – the issue falls upon my generation. It is our responsibility to advocate for our viewpoints and to speak up regarding issues that affect us.