Letter from the Editor 

In the information age, everybody's a publisher.

year-in-review-facebook-637x357.jpg

Every January, as the old year turns to new, those of us in the media are seemingly compelled to publish summations of the year just past, i.e., the most significant news events, the best music, film, books; a listing of celebrities and historical figures who died; trends and internet memes that shaped and defined the year. The Flyer is no exception. Our issue of December 27th did just that and in fine fashion. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better retrospective of local music, food, film, news, art, weird stuff — you name it.

click to enlarge year-in-review-facebook-637x357.jpg

But we've reached an era where almost all of us are publishers of some sort, whether it's through Facebook, blogs, Twitter, or just via our smartphones. Our lives are chronicled daily, and the resulting photos, updates, posts, "statuses," etc. are helpfully updated and filed chronologically for us by our machines. Facebook even created a "year in review" feature for its users, with the helpful and ego-boosting tagline: "Look back at your 20 biggest moments from the past year."

Wow, we're important!

The information age has been an equalizer in many ways. I was reading this week how the sales profession has been changed. In the not-so-distant past, you would, for example, go to a car dealer and negotiate from an "information-deficient" position, i.e., the salesman knew more about what he was selling than you did. No more. Smart car buyers are equipped with the knowledge of what the base price is for every make and model — and what every other dealer in town has in stock. The age of the hustle is dying. The age of the transparent transaction is here.

But the instant nature of our news and interactions also contains pitfalls. Consider the flood of false information about the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings that made it into the mass media in the early hours of that tragedy. We were given the wrong name for the shooter, a false report that the shooter's mother was a teacher at the school, and several other details that proved incorrect as the facts emerged.

It's the job of the media to get the story right before disseminating it to the public. In an era where information is everywhere and redistributed freely — and often without discerning whether or not it is true — we at the Flyer will continue to try be a source of news and content you can trust.

That said, let me add, Happy New Year! It's 2013, y'all.

Bruce VanWyngarden
brucev@memphisflyer.com

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Chris Rock and a Hard Place

      Why we have to stop hating and start hearing.
    • Death by a Thousand Cuts

      Tennessee’s short-sightedness when it comes to accepting federal Medicaid dollars is bleeding our healthcare system dry.
    • The Prosecution Rests

      There was no indictment in Ferguson, but there was plenty of wrong-doing to go around.

Blogs

Hungry Memphis

Raw Girls Launches Food Truck

News Blog

Candidates Sought For Council Vacancy

Calling the Bluff

Don Trip is a "Man on the Moon"

News Blog

Riverside Drive Bike Lane Named In Top 10 List

News Blog

Memphis' Logan Guleff Wins MasterChef Junior

Calling the Bluff

Starlito Connects with Don Trip, Yo Gotti for New Track

News Blog

Pension Reform Gets Council Approval

Beyond the Arc

Next Day Notes: Grizzlies 105, Warriors 98

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

  • Death by a Thousand Cuts

    Tennessee’s short-sightedness when it comes to accepting federal Medicaid dollars is bleeding our healthcare system dry.
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • Chris Rock and a Hard Place

    Why we have to stop hating and start hearing.
    • Dec 4, 2014
  • More »
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2014

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Memphis Business Quarterly
Powered by Foundation