Today is Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday, and I along with millions of others wish him a very happy birthday.
While Mr Mandela is in hospital the world waits for news of his health and though for many it is hard to consider, his death. Some will have news alerts delivered to their email letting them know when there is new news about Mr Mandela, others will be watching Twitter, Reddit and other news websites for updates.
I remember the day Mr Mandela was sworn in a the President of South Africa. I know exactly where I was when he took the oath of office. I was on a bus on my way to Kettering in the English midlands, for my fortnightly visit to sign on for the dole. I was listening on a walkman to the BBC broadcasting the ceremony to the world. I also remember crying on the bus and people staring at me. I remember me explaining why I was crying. I also remember the explanation didn’t help ad the other passengers still stared at my like I was a crazy lady.
Since the colour broadcast of the Queen’s coronation, which let ordinary people into a previously closed and relatively private ceremony. The world now demands access to just about everything. Journalists are camped outside the hospital where the Kate, the Duschess of Cambridge will give birth to the next king or queen of England (and the Commonwealth) so they can broadcast live updates to their audiences.
Worldwide audiences expect their news to be live, instant and in their pocket. We have moved from the wireless, to colour television, portable radios and now to the internet in our pockets. We have access to the good, the bad and the wonderful.
This instant news can have it’s draw backs with many cases of journalists being caught out by fake news stories circulating on the internet, so remember just because it is online doesn’t mean it is true.
Whether it is news of a disaster, a royal baby or the death of a much loved man, the future will not be televised it will be shared online.