I’ve been involved in the “New Media” for a number of years now, and I’ve learned a bit. But it’s a fast moving field and not easy to keep up with.
The New Media comes from the rapid rise of the computer and the growth of the internet in the 1980s. Until then, we used print, radio and television for public communication.
Today, the New Media is found not only in web-sites, blogs, communication tools like e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, but it’s also transforming the “Old Media” through digital television and online publications.
The New Media is changing the way we communicate. In the crisis in Iran a few months ago, the government shut down outside television coverage, but the world learned about it anyway, largely through the New Media. A shift is taking place in who controls mass communication today and the means to do it. I commented on this in a previous blog.
The New Media tends to be less expensive and less dependent on professionals than the older media. Anyone with a digital camera, a computer and a little know-how can put a video on YouTube or Vimeo. A maze of blogs and websites on the Internet offers a bewildering range of opinions and subjects.
For religious communities like mine, the New Media offers a real opportunity. We are a global community to begin with, and the New Media is global in its outreach. We have a solid spiritual and pastoral tradition and the bazaar of conflicting religious ideas needs some solid religious teachers.
We are branching out from some of our old media ventures to incorporate the new. We have a good province website. The Sunday Mass has a site on the internet. Compassion Magazine has an online edition. Many of the print publications and videos from Passionist Press can be sampled or seen online. There are some Passionist blogs around, from the UN and for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation. A quick look at Google Search, the standard for measuring new media success, says we are still proclaiming the Passion of Jesus.
I was encouraged last Tuesday to see some proposals for our chapter this May involving the new media and the media in general,
I hope we commit ourselves to it.