By Reagan Pepper
My earliest media memory is music. When my dad drove us around in his Jeep, he played music. He had a cassette tape of The Mills Brothers, and it wasn’t long before we sang duets everywhere we went. When we weren’t in the mood for smooth rhythms and soothing voices, we turned the radio up and blasted Journey. When we were feeling a bit more easy-going, it was George Straight or Jimmy Buffet (he clearly had eclectic tastes).
Those music-filled car rides are largely responsible for shaping the musical tastes I have today, which indicates the impact media has on us. Everything from the books I have read, to the television shows I have watched, have helped form my perceptions about the world and shaped my personality. I don’t think we give the media enough credit. We often attribute our personality/character traits to life experiences, family, etc., without paying much attention to the impact media has had on us. I believe the same can be said for entire cultures. It’s honestly scary.
I experience media in an entirely different way than my parents did. That was obvious in my third sentence when I mentioned listening to a cassette tape. During my lifetime, I’ve started to see the use of CDs become irrelevant as the iPod gained fame. My little brother, who is 14, has already seen the iPod slowly become irrelevant due to the iPhone’s popularity. And these are just changes in music platforms.
The most relevant example for us as journalists at this time is the move from print to digital. Most, if not all, major newspapers now have an online presence. This has obviously come in conjecture with the internet’s rise.
The need for an online presence has caused countless headaches and problems for every newspaper making the transition. An entire book could be written on these complications, but just these initial matters I’ve mentioned are enough to prove that media has changed in ways that we cannot fathom. And the rate at which it is influencing us as a world, a nation, and as individuals is something to think very critically about.