Never in history has it been so easy to accumulate information. A vast sea of stories flows ceaselessly through the devices at our fingertips. But some days I feel I am drowning in data that does not help me understand the world any better.
Edward R Murrow’s warning about TV in 1958 could just as well be applied to all our modern information sources:
“This instrument can teach. It can illuminate and, yes, it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it towards those ends. Otherwise, it is merely wires and lights in a box.”
It is what we do with the information at our disposal that determines our destiny.
I once had a news editor when I worked on a small broadsheet newspaper in Cape Town who would cut me down to size by reminding me that my feverish efforts at storytelling would soon be “fish n’chips wrapper”. Undeterred I sat at my Olivetti typewriter for hours until I was happy with the stories.
In 2014 when we launched The Journalist we had a section called News. Our aim was and is to explore the meaning behind the lights and wires. To avoid at all costs becoming electronic ‘fish n’chips wrapper’.
Since then, we have chosen to rework this section of our website and in line with our updated approach it is called SPOTLIGHT. It is a name that evokes images of performers plucked out of the darkness of the stage and bathed in light so that the audience can revel in their artistry.
Spotlight will feature the artistry of our finest writers. Their brief will be simple. Don’t merely tell us what happened. Help us understand why.
If you have an idea for a Spotlight story please engage in the discussion or use the Contact Us page to write and let us know what you are thinking.
If we are indeed the end result of all the stories we’ve heard, as Tim Knight says, choose carefully. The Journalist is committed to help you make that choice and to shed light on the 21st Century clutter.