Surviving the Pandemic with Technology in our Hands

NetNewsLedger News Splash

Thunder Bay – LIVING – Life changes. Technology has driven much of the change in the last 60 years. If you consider that literally millions of people are gathering their news, entertaining themselves, communicating around the world, and recording their lives all with their smart devices, we have enormous advantages over past times.

Through 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have many advantages compared to the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic. Back in those days, radio was not around.  The first Canadian radio station in Montreal that became CFCF only began broadcast programming on May 20, 1920.

Newspapers were the most common way of getting news and information.

Today through the pandemic and certainly over the next weeks with the lockdown in Ontario, for many it will be Apple TV, Netflix, Youtube that will provide, along with online news a majority of people with something to keep them busy. Chances are the Xbox and other video games will play a major role too.

Today, it seems everyone is on a screen. Remember back not too long ago, when there was one television in the house? I remember our family being invited across the street to see our neighbour’s new colour television set. They were huge and heavy and delivered by the store.

Television shows started promoting “Living Colour” programs.

While all this technology has become integrated into our daily lives, if you look back to the changes over the past 100 years, it is pretty amazing how things have changed.

During the 1930s, 1940s and into the 1950s, radio was increasingly the place people gathered news. It was where people got their entertainment too.

Gunsmoke Radio Play with William Conrad as Matt Dillon

Yours Truly Johnny Dollar

Radio shows were where the family gathered – shows like “Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar”, Gunsmoke, The Jack Benny Program, were all radio classics.

Just like in the early days of television, the family gathered around the radio, and later the television to watch what are now classic shows.

News reporting on radio was immediate in many cases.

It took all the way to the start of the Cable News Network, or CNN, to see the twenty-four hour news coverage.

The real shift from radio and newspapers really hit in November 1963 when American President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Back in those days it took time for the old television cameras and studio lights to warm up.

CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite was live on the air during the assassination keeping people up to date on what was happening.

While some may have thought television had then overtaken newspaper as the best medium for news, remember it was the reporting, in the Washington Post of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on Watergate that clearly demonstrated the power of print.

Radio too still has a key role to play, but the lines are often crossed over to the Internet today. Radio talk show journalists like Charles Adler take the lead in many cases.

Here in Thunder Bay it was the deep bass tones of Rick Smith on CKPR AM 580 who kept people informed and with his daily Open Line made sure the issues of the day were aired.

It is hard to imagine today how people got along without all of today’s technology. Today, Internet news, social media, Facebook, Twitter, Zoom, are all helping to keep all of us informed.

In fact depending on what time of day it is, upwards of 90 per cent of the readers on NetNewsLedger are getting their updates to their smartphones.

When started, our theme was “News at the Speed of the Internet”©.

It is a challenge in today’s world to get the information and present it fast and as accurately as news must be. Today we live in a world where President Donald Trump has decried media from the Oval Office and podiums in the West Wing of the White House to campaign rallies across the United States calling the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and more recently Fox News as “Fake news”.

Today, getting accurate information is vital.

Wading through the chaff to make sure what you get everyday is worth your time reading, watching, or sharing means a lot.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, our task at NetNewsLedger has been to get you the news and information you need in a timely and accurate manner.

Through 2020 we have seen our readership grow massively. All we can say to you, is thank-you, meegwetch, and we promise to keep our focus on making sure your visit to our website is worth your time.

James Murray

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