Since our newspapers, magazines, outdoor ads, radio and TV have not been able to create communities of love, equality, harmony and balance, the higher realms gifted humanity with cyberspace, the Ethernet, to “by-pass” these old media vehicles working in a frequency above the old paradigm to connect us, speaking from our hearts. Has it worked thus far? Not completely, yet. But we have a vision of what can be; we are in process…
Trained in media planning and buying at Young & Rubicam Advertising, New York City, I am especially interested in what is taking place in media today. The key factor now is something called ‘convergence’ as in the integration of TV and cyberspace. Not just telling the news, entertaining people and selling products, the challenge upon the media industry today is the endeavor of serving the needs, interest and desire of the people. The old paradigm is shifting and does not completely work anymore; the ‘ownership’ of the business belongs to ‘we the people’. Consumer driven audiences now have the ability to custom-create their own programs, buying environments and marketing options.
But what is also taking place is that consumers, the audience, have in effect become ‘partners’, building communities, via the media business. It’s part of the human condition to create groups, tribes and communities. After years of separation and ‘me consciousness’, the needs and interest of communities have become a vital part of media business. Rather than speaking to the interest of a few, producers are creating their own community-access media programs, portable device publications and online computer conferences. Media is now ever present, at our command (if we so choose).
Democracy is built upon the premise that the greatest wisdom lies in the majority of the people, not in the few (the privileged) who would decide for the many. For a democracy to work it requires an educated, informed citizenry in which people actively seek truthful information. This is a key issue in our nation and world today. Democracy is not a ‘spectator sport’ of uniformed people who do not participate nor vote. Freedom of a truthful press, acting as a check and balance on power, is vital for democratic values and survival.
Today in a world of 24 hour, seven day a week mass media exposure, many have lost their capacity to listen, reducing the ability to build community. Community is an activity, a personal and collective process. It is based upon experiences, relationships, resonance, discernment and learning. The way to create a truly informed citizenry, an active, motivated one is through live, personal discussion and debate. We get to see and know ourselves by explaining ourselves to one another. Then we might wake up and realize we are each other in disguise.
Before today’s media, people got their news and information from one another, through storytelling, small talk and shared observation. There was little interest in celebrity, outside local governmental leadership; there were few nationally famous people. Most often today, media focuses our attention on entertainment, trying to convince us that people we don’t know are more important than what’s going on in our community. Thus, media is distracting us with irrelevant information that separates us from those closest to us.
Some conscious people are waking up and realizing we are missing something vital in being human. Somewhere deep within our DNA we are remembering and realizing how much richer and soul-satisfying life can be in community-oriented media when we make this a priority in our lives. Public Television and radio is a good example. Then we need to make the choice to support media that brings us news, entertainment and other forms of communication that truly connects us to one another, to the nation, the world, the universe, and most importantly to our selves.
Let us affirm that media of the future contains less sex and violence (no wonder there is so much shooting in America — by the time a child is six-years-old they have seen hundreds of killings) and more inspirational information leading to positive transformation. Shows of the future will also have less so-called objectivity and more passion and humanity, less national news and more local and international coverage (connecting the me to the we), less shaming and blaming, more problem-solution orientation, more discussion and debate, more soul and spirit and more applied knowledge leading to wisdom.
Let our audiences demand media that brings us together. “Media-match-makers” could be the community-builders. The word ‘media’ is defined as “an intervening agency, to bring about, an intermediary between parties.” Let us insist that our media outlets bring audiences together, creating community.
Right now, our cyberspace is not a real community but a medium that allows users to network. In networks, people arrange themselves according to common interest by choice. In true community, diverse people are required to deal with one another, work together while sorting out their differences. Living in community is not easy (neither is the choice we made to be human) but we are realizing we are diversified versions of one another and we need one another.
Once we come to know that the world would be incomplete without each of us, or we would not be here, the better world we will create (together). Let us further create media that will support our divine journey and destination to an unified reality of oneness consciousness through building communities of love, equality, harmony and balance.
Phillip Elton Collins
Co-Founder, The Angel News Network