Telling Stories in the Digital Age
December 21, 2018
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with an exemplary team of journalists and producers who shared my commitment to supporting our reporters in the field; making sure they have the right tools and a trusted platform to tell the stories that are unravelling in front of them.
Of course, as the landscape of how we live our lives changes, so too does how we record them, report on them, and ultimately represent them to ourselves—and to generations to come. Nowadays, we don’t have to talk to a single person to get pizza delivered, pay our bills, or book a vacation. But are we isolated? Not at all: we can FaceTime our friends across the world, we can see livestreams of political unrest in progress in real time. Thanks to technology, not only can I get closer to a story than ever before, but I can share that story instantaneously. If anything, we’ve become ultra-connected.
The challenge, then, in this high-tech world, is no longer how to disseminate information: but how to tell stories. Stories that are, at their core, about genuine, tangible human connection. Already, we regularly find ways to harness these digital platforms to create real conversations, spread compassion and take that engagement out of the cybersphere and into the real world. And that is the truly powerful, transformative phenomenon of the digital age.
Now, that’s not to say that the heart of journalism has changed with the times. Even in a world of click-bait, photoshop, and listicles, I truly believe that good journalism and good journalists are no different than they were in 1968, when I started as a reporter. Because the principle we hold most dear—discovering, and sharing, the truth¬—is immutable.
What we have ahead of us, as a society, is a fight. A fight against fake news and “fake news”; a fight against the harmful feedback loops of selective media consumption; and against the divisive forces using the gift of the digital world to advance their own agendas.
But it’s a fight I know we will win: with ardor, perseverance and most importantly, facts.
The digital revolution is reshaping everything; the tried and true paths we once knew are taking detours. And the fight I speak of is not a resistance to change. It’s not a fight against progress or populism, it’s not even political. It’s a fight for that which is most sacred: a fight for the truth.
Without truth, there cannot be trust. And without trust, there cannot be news.
I look forward to speaking at Activate Digital 2019 on February 28th in Mississauga. Following my keynote, you’ll hear perspectives about AD 2019 from Canadian executives like Microsoft’s President Kevin Peesker, and Cisco’s President Rola Dagher.
As space is limited reserve your spot today through the following link.