Of Mainstream Media: is it dying?

Is Mainstream Media dying…. And did The New Media deal it a mortal blow?

Is Journalism dying, killed by social media
“The Medium has compromised The Media”

A sound-bite from Takura Zhangazha whilst speaking on the role The Media on the upcoming Zimbabwean Presidential elections and part of an analysis of previous 2013 elections, at a Medial Alliance of Zimbabwe conference; where it was noted there has been a marked increase in social media usage and citizen journalism. He defined The Medium as being tools, technology; the internet social media……..

Well one cannot lay blame on tools, they say “guns don’t kill people…. ” (but then who ever came up with that phrase was from a time before anyone ever imagined someone would invent drones and weaponise them or the strides in Artificial Intelligence; before the future spelt out in Hollywood movies was even remotely possible, the machines rise…. but I digress)

Corrupted Media

The DNA of The New Media

Mainstream media has had gaps in its coverage, marginalising some aspects in favour of profitable stories, political mileage and sometimes simply some sort of principle and code. These gaps have been filled by new media; which allows for diverse practitioners to exploit the ease at which information spreads, (going viral), abiding by almost no code, ungoverned and ungovernable, algorithms defining trending topics; requiring little or no verification; mostly for the likes; shares retweets, the real time interaction and the entertainment value…

Social Media can break the news before almost any media house, first with the news, because anyone anywhere with a smartphone and an internet connection is a pseudo-journalist…

When traditional media houses try to out-compete new media, they wind up losing their journalistic integrity, (and their credibility). Is it a surprise no one takes mainstream media seriously anymore, not pointing any fingers, but when a head of state takes to social medal  to label a media house as fake news………

If traditional media houses treat new media and online content creation as their “unscrupulous” competition whom they need to fight for their place in the sun then …… mainstream media will die.

The herald

The logic makes sense; but in this age of The Internet Of Things, where even your fridge can go online; this is how you lose a battle with new media. You leave a space and someone or something will take your place; like a game musical chairs when the music stops, you find your seat has been taken……. You are Out.

online piracy

Piracy/plagiarism is a real problem and another challenge all together. I have Google searched and found snippets of my words unattributed to me, it hurts…. I mean if you ask me nicely I would let you, so long as you referenced back to me, is that too much to ask for? When a solution comes do let me know.

Traditional media houses need to adapt and embrace more of the new media; define new guidelines and core values with regards to interacting with social media instead of treating it as an amusing spectacle like children running around in adults clothes pretending to be journalists; useful only to get hits and views. It is an instrument a powerful one, capable of transforming the world as we know it, but a tool’s is utility just like any weapon is dependent on its wielder.

Evian babies wearing oversized clothes

RESPECT

The main problem with social media is “the proliferation of fake news” a phrase I have heard over and over again. But it’s mostly a matter of user education, people must need to learn a culture of not spreading unverified information or at least questioning and cross-checking facts. Sometimes even a quick Google Search could prove to you that a celebrity is not dead or how today is a not a unique day whose star alignment will not happen again in the next 456321 million years…..

Maybe that’s what mainstream media has to do; apply expert skill-set to interpret trends, analysing stories and issues raised in new media packaging them in the way they should be, debunking fake news and harnessing the potential reach of online influencers; reviewing new media the way it already reviews traditional publishing houses. On social media everyone to a degree is a social commentator or analyst adding their two cents to the narrative and with elections coming up, that space is going to be real chaotic  real fast in a way that could change electoral process dynamics.

If I owned a media house…………….

~B

 

Photo Credit: Evian Water Babies Digital Agency Network

 

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Of Moonlit Letters To A Muse

My Dearest Mable

Today is neither your birthday nor the anniversary of the first letter you wrote me on your blog almost a year ago. I remember each word almost like I just read it before I started writing you this letter…………..

dear Beaton letter

Ok, ok, I confess, I just finished rereading it again, for the zillionth time……….

I have always started to write a reply back each time and have gone as far as:

Dear Mable

And I then I fail to come up with words that would be a reply worthy of the honour you did me.

letter from mable

letter from Mable

Today however, I will sit here and I will write.

Today is not a holiday neither is it your birthday, it’s not even a full moon night, this February did not have a single full moon although January had two including a lunar eclipse. Imagine I am writing this on a full moon, as I imagine you reading this beneath the moonlit night sky.

You make me smile, you make laugh and most of all you just might be as crazy as you think I am.

That sounds like something I ciuld have whispered to you, in my past life, you might have been my favourite wife, or the lady who danced to all my songs and finished the sentences to all my stories made them right…

The universe might have conspired to place time and distance between us but across various timelines and multitudes of possibilities we would always find each other.

I love the sun

But I dream of The Moon,

All that The Sun gives away

The moon takes,

Sunlight by day

Moonnlight by night

Fulfilling the promises

Let The Be Light……..

Imagine this were a moonlit night and I whispered these words into the breeze, beneath the moon’s milky twilight, petals in the wind dancing with their beloved, as the moonbeam strikes a chord on the window seal.

On nights such as these I stare out of the window to see the moon of my dreams and picture myself howling at it, like a mythical being as I imagine you looking at the same moon and thinking of me too.

The same moon that shines in my sky watches over you too, wherever so you may be, its as if I too will be there by your side. Even when the sun itself is shining we will always have the moon, it may not be as big nor as bright but it is way more magical……

Moon howling

The Full-moon Poet

Today is not a holiday, neither is it your holiday but I thought to not let it pass without me immortalizing you in the only way I know how

All My Love

~B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of Thoughts On TV Land

The television is some sort of pseudo-religion and our living rooms are shrines where families congregate to lay on the TV’s alter their time; attention and sometimes even each……….

Family watching Tv

I don’t know about most of you, but from when I was little, the TV box has always had a prominent place in the family living room and a daily ritual involving “family time” where you are all in the same room (mostly not talking to each other except for a few questions about how your day has been) and watching TV. Its however losing its commanding relevance with smartphones and laptops vying for our attention. Now you find people still sitting in the same room with the TV on but no one really watching all lost in their private worlds on their devices. The old religion is dying and a new more obsessive one is on the rise.

quality time

Would you rather have an unlimited internet connection or premium pay TV bouquet?

Internet TV

I would rather have unlimited internet because it has infinite possibilities and most likely any programmes you want to watch on even the most exclusive TV Bouquet are available on the internet, if not  for free then a nominal subscription fee; and if you are of the less scrupulous persuasion you can watch pirated content (which is illegal)………..

The beauty is you get to watch, what you want, when you want, and not subjected to the whims of a broadcaster also your viewing experience will not be interrupted by commercial breaks it will be streamed in high definition……

What have you been watching?

my recent favourite TV series been:

  • Stranger Things
  • The Shannara Chronicles
  • American Gods
  • The 100
  • Game of Thrones
  • Prison Break Resurrection

Funny enough I don’t remember the last time I watched our own local terrestrial programming from ZBC. Wait I lie, I remember it was between 14 November and 21 November 2017 but mostly watched news bulletins and press conferences during our Private School Coup.

Mostly though the really isn’t much to watch on the local scene……

Conventional broadcasting is dying and a new digital age is rising….

If you want to watch something on TV and you cant find it maybe you should produce yourself……

I don’t know much know nothing about script writing but I do know the secret is having lovable characters and characters you love to hate, and some sort of a plot obviously; why else would you invite these  characters into your life and home every daily?

Confession I have never done this before, you might want to step back, don’t know how big its gonna get……..

**googles how to write a  script**

~B

How hard is it to write a script? If anyone here knows how its done hook us up with some pointers and character suggestions …….. I am letting the rain drops fall on my head I call that brain storming……

Of Little Voices And Big Dreams

 

Little hands and big hearts

Let the little ones come to me……………

Kids are priceless and their innocence precious. Sometimes though, sometimes they ask in their little voices very difficult questions, questions you would rather the Earth open up and swallow you before you answered them………

When I say I am babysitting; I really mean that I’ll find something on the TV that we can all watch and (try to) keep them out of trouble until their mom comes pick them up.

Their tiny minds are like sponges absorbing all sorts “knowledge” so one must filter carefully what reaches through.

One of my nieces wanted to be a pilot from when she could talk until accidentally catching a scene from an episode of some “seconds from disaster mayday  air collision” type TV series; promptly put an end to that dream.

The other day whilst watching Zootopia, you know the place; where anyone can be anything? I decided to ask a niece what she wanted to be….

A Disney Princess” said a little voice with a big dream  (after binge watching episodes of Sophia The First)

“Sure darling you can be a Disney Princess” I replied. Who am I to deny a girl her dreams?……

Little Princess

Little princess all dressed in white throwing rose petals 

This other time we were scrolling channels looking for something to watch when a commercial for feminine hygiene products come on. You know the type with a catchy upbeat jingle about staying dry always and a lady with an umbrella is dancing in the street; a voice narrating how the new design and “wings” give extra protection:

The Niece turns to me and asks “Are those like the Elastoplast® in the drawer?” (The Band aids) we always keep some around because the little hands and legs always getting into scrapes.
I replied with a quick yes and hoped that was the end of that, but a few seconds later;

How come she is singing and dancing if she is hurt?” asked a little voice.

“Where is she hurt?” another little voice asked

You cant see it__” I started to reply then decided to go with “Anyway, she isn’t hurt bad__ ….she is fine now….”

In my head I was thinking oh lawd where is their mother; as I changed the channel. On the next channel there was another commercial, its almost as if there is schedule that such commercials show during this particular segment.

This time it was a bunch teenage girls in a classroom dancing and singing a catchy tune about checking for leaks as always. I guess it was a regular commercial because the little ones were singing and dancing along…….
A tiny hand was pulling my leg trying to get my attention and I could just tell that they had a question to ask…. And I probably would get myself tangled into a web I was not equipped to deal with so I changed the channel again…..

On the next channel, there is a Cadbury chocolate commercial. A lady pregnant with triplets is eating Cadbury chocolate.

cadbury chocolate craving pregnancy

The “babies” in her tummy loving it so much they start singing Joy a song by The Soil (which happens to be my favourite song from my favourite accapella group)

singing cadbury triplets
“I got joy in my heart
And you know it’s the kind of feeling
Followed by a sense of healing, “

What happens next you can definitely imagine:

Do babies like chocolate?” a little voice asks

Where do babies come from?” another asks as well

Chocolate!!!!” another replies

“So…. If you eat chocolate______” another little voice starts to speak………………

Thank you very much Cadbury

~B

PS what interesting situations have little voices gotten you into?

 

 

Of Coffee And More Cake

African Sunset Cake

We are going to need more cake……..

If you were having coffee with me, I would be very happy to welcome you to my this hear wonderful space, I would ask you if I looked older?

Beaton Grey

Rich with strands of silver, Embracing my beard’s winter As I stand in the sun….

It was my birthday just the other day in case you missed it……. Your birthday is when you get to experience what it feels like to be a celebrity, people being nice to you simply because you were born, but only for a day.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell that if I had to share a slice of cake wwith everyone I promised a slice, we would definitely need more cake. I would share some of my favourite messages from all over the internet:

Edwina

Zilencube

RaggedUrban

Mablees

The best rumours I have I heard about me I started them myself…

Fiona

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I am a walking contradiction, my totem is a flame and my spirit animal is fire but my star sign is Pisces a water element, what happens when Fire meets water; why magic happens of course.

T.W.

pisces born 22 february

I still haven’t watched Black Panther scandalous as that may be, and so I navigate my internet timeline cautiously trying not to step on spoilers as people go about tagging #WakandaForever. I wonder wakanda character I would have been if Wakanda were real, but not to fret soon as I watch, a review will be coming up!!!!

If you were having coffee with me I would ask if you see the irony in saying:

 “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun”

when the only person who gains from is the person who manufactures/sells the guns.

I don’t watch the news much, but it still filters down to me, the atrocities people commit for various reasons and causes. The really is no-one is more dangerous than a person who believes in the righteousness of their cause.

If you are having coffee with me I would tell you that birthdays are but an excuse to eat cake, so we are going to need more cake….

africa themed cake

~B

PS Final its complete the poetry duet I was doing with Mable where I would write something and she would RIGHT it give it a look see:

I wrote Of The Broken Mugged Man

She replied with Bruised Not Broken

I wrote Of UnBreaking

She responded with Hearts

Next I wrote Of Heart Petals In The Wind

And she said finally righted it You and I

PPS Mable definitely next Wednesday.

 

Of Coffee With Best Laid Plans

If you were having coffee with me I would welcome you like an expected favoured guest, and tell you to kindly disregard the mess, just find somewhere to sit and make yourself at home….. what will your poison be? I am having lemon tea which may or may not have a nip of gin.

This is ought to be day 17 of my blog everyday challenge but unforeseen circumstances kept my posting schedule rather erratic. When you plan things in your head everything is in a neat straight line but life likes to throw curve balls, whats important is what you do with them, catch and throw back!!!!

Reality Vs Your Plan

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that my grandma was laid to rest following a beautiful catholic mass. My uncle, a staunch Seventh Day Adventist (for some reason they do not see eye to eye with Catholics) even made the comment that the singing was beautiful ruined only by drums that were played in the background. He likened it to someone preparing a scrumptious meal and then ruining it by adding way too much hot spice. I felt a twinge of guilt because I rather like my meals spicy; but they say one man’s meat…..

If you were having coffee with me; I would tell you how South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma resigned on Wednesday evening, well it was either that or risk an impeachment process. Its a situation somewhat reminiscent of what happened with our own president, it makes one question if democracy and electoral processes aren’t really just an elaborate scheme without real substance.

It would also be with deepest regret I informed you the passing away of one of the champions of democracy in Zimbabwe; President of the opposition party The Movement for Democratic Change MDC Morgan Tsvangirai. At one time he was poised to be president of the country but the former president Robert Mugabe had run-off elections declared followed by a rerun election in which he won a landslide victory. Again this is also why I wonder what democracy means to Africa because every other country seems to have problems with its presidency, its even rumoured that the colon cancer Morgan Tsvangirai had was somehow induced to take him out of the political field, but people talk, people will always talk………

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that………… the only thing better than hanging only metres above a smoking volcano; for a breathtaking, front seat view. of a volcano erupting, dangling from a helicopter, whose pilot’s definition of fun is to let go of the controls , wave both hands and say “look ma NO HANDS”... Is to have someone to share it with…

Audience

Here are a few choice posts from fellow bloggers taking part in my #FEBlog Challenge

FEblog Challenge

Dante #Feblog Day 15: Democracy Just another word in the dictionary

Mel #Feblog Day 2 Dating And Social Media Expectations

Mable Maybe 

Quarter Wife I’ll be Watching the Relationship Olympics, Thanks

 

~B

 

 

Of Love and Life in The Digital Age

You are familiar with the Three Mystic Apes also known as the Three Wise Monkeys:

See No Evil Hear No Evil Speak No evil

See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil

Mizaru, with eyes covered, sees no evil; Kikazaru, with covered ears, hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering mouth, speaks no evil….

Well there is fourth whose wisdom and mysticism is somewhat debatable:

monkey with a phone  He sees nobody, he hears nobody and he speaks to nobody……. and yet on the internet the world is his oyster……

I always take what I read on the internet with a pinch of salt because much as it is a fun creative space, reducing physical distance into nothing more than a click on a screen, it seems to warp reality as we perceive it……

The more our phones capture reality, each new model with better camera, higher number of pixels and a bigger  screen with high definition screen; the less we actually experience it. It seems we have become a generation that seeks validity and relevance by the number of likes and retweets we get online, outsourcing even our conscience to online personas.

Sometimes it seems like people go out of their way to post pictures or share video clips from their lives to prove how they have made it in life or how awesome their dream holiday is even how perfect their relationship is. Almost as if they need the world’s approval to convince themselves that they have indeed arrived. Well maybe you have made it, but as for the rest of the easily swayed world who try to compete every second of their lives to a single moment, captured in a well-timed photo, disappointment awaits you…

Valentine’s has come and gone; with its commercialised; over hyped up trimmings, and of course throw in smart phones and the internet and suddenly people out to show how their better half is best; better than anyone else’s. Some seem to date simply so they can show off. I am sure a relationship is not a competition and Relationship Olympics are not an actual Olympic event but hey people are out there winning the Boyfriend Olympics and the Girlfriend Olympics on the internet.

Relationship Olympics

How do you stay in your lane if you want to Keep Up With The Internet Citizens who star in their own Reality Shows right on our internet timelines.

I read an interesting quote along the lines of :

“If you are going to do good deeds/charity work leave your camera behind”

I wonder if he knew, Alexander Graham Bell, back when he invented the telephone how much control his invention would have over our lives

The next time you are outside and happen to see the perfect sunset don’t take out your phone and take a picture just look at it until the light fades away…

sunset

~B

 

PS why wait only for Valentine’s Day to show how much someone means to you anyway? Live every day like its Valentine’s day.

The fourth monkey is called Post No Evil

Post No evil

 

 

photo Credit: Freaking News

 

Of Coffee, Cancer and Awards

If you were having coffee with me I would bid you welcome and tell you to get out of the rain before you catch your death of cold. You would probably ask me if I recently had my hair fixed up and I reply “What gave it away, was it the rain, it always rains after my wash day

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that after all my experiences as a Rain God, I would have figured out that I should carry an umbrella after washday but see I have a terrible habit of losing them; I forget them in taxis, cloak rooms anywhere I set it down I’ll probably just walk away and not even turn around, until splash a drop of rain lands on me and I remember I had an umbrella but not anymore.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that today is world cancer day.

World Cancer day

Shout out to all the cancer survivors out there.

The risk of getting cancer can be reduced by practicing a healthy lifestyle and early detection increases the chances of treatment.

Ways to reduce cancer

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that my grandma just passed away, the doctors say if the cancer had been detected early they might have been able to treat it. Go well grandma we wont cry we celebrate a life lived to its fullest.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how part of the reason I keep this blog is to shed light on my little corner of the world its not an S word. I was reminded of this as I read the following transcript from an interview of Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi by a French journalist:

Interviewer: Are your books read in Nigeria?

Chimamanda: Yes

Interviewer: Do they have libraries in Nigeria?

Chimamanda: I think it reflects poorly on France that you asked that question

Believe it or not someone once sent me an email asking if we have the internet in Africa, can you here my eyes roll?

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I am on day 4 of my blog everyday challenge and that my blog was nominated for the Zim Blog Awards in the ARTs and Culture category please vote for Becoming The Muse thank you on the link below.

tribeofinfluencers.com

~B

 

PS I did say go vote right? Vote thank you again

 

Of The Rain God

 

I am a Rain God.

Try not to freak out, I am trying not to freak out either but that is my final conclusion, it makes perfect sense.

Why does it rain? It rains when two clouds love each other so much that they come together….  I will save you the geography lesson, besides I never really paid attention but I did learn a cool word for rain… PRECIPITATION. I also know another cool ran related word PETRICHOR (ask me nicely and I might tell you in an upcoming post.)

How to make it rain:

For most people it’s not exact science, unless of course you are into cloud seeding and such then it’s a near exact science but highly iffy. Cloud seeding is when you really love a cloud…. OK I really should have sat still and listened during my Geography class.

A Rain Ceremony is another way to make it rain, now that is definitely NOT a science it is more in the magic and mythical realm. You need to engage the services of a n’anga aka sangoma aka “witch doctor’’ what do you call such a bone throwing traditional “doctor”  where you come from? The doctor performs some sort of ancestral appeasement ceremony because mostly when it doesn’t rain its because you did something wrong and the ancestors are showing their displeasure. A rain dance might be done, traditional beer will be brewed and a cow or goat is slaughtered, those ancestors sure like a good party.

If you are an ordinary person and you want it to rain, its fairly easy just wish for it to not rain; throw a garden party  or some outdoors event, or wash all your clothes and hany them out to dry …. Chances are it will rain depending on your luck

The Rain God

 

I spent a tiny town in the Lowveld part of Zimbabwe, it’s a hot arid region with low precipitation. Whenever it rained I got a nose bleed, or rather now that I think about it, when it; When I got a nose bleed It Rained. Maybe it was the heat maybe it was the altitude and atmospheric pressure (ok I did pay attention during geography class) The nose bleeds were rather severe and distressing not only to me but to the witnesses. Eventually my grandma came up with a solution, smoke some Elephant dung. Yes it worked, I stopped getting nose bleed, it still rained though, so that’s a remedy for those who know anyone who suffers from frequent nose bleeds.

I grew up and grew my hair too.

Beaton

Now here is the thing, every single time I get my hair touched up usually after a washday routine(read it here):   IT RAINS.

washday

And after all the effort putting into fixing up my hair imagine getting rained on your parade. At first I used to brush it off as just a weird coincidence but now, not so much.

Washday

 

I had my washday the day before yesterday; it rained all of yesterday I tried fixing up the rain damage last night, and today:

Even FaceBook warned me to stay dry

Facebook

Its not just that it rains, it tries to rain on me, I like dancing in the rain but not when I have just got my hair done, the two strand twists start unravelling.

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-03 at 12.14.53

Maybe I should visit Cape Town I hear they could really do with some rain

 

I am a Rain God

#MyAfricaMyWords

~B

 

Of The February Blog Challenge

Hello February

February script

I rather like February, there’s something about it…. No it’s not about how the month is themed red, punctuated with hearts and strewn with flowers.

hEARTS AND ROSES

It’s not about how it’s been styled as the month of love, fodder for the creative mind, the poet who feeds equally on the broken hearted and the love struck; promises kept and promises broken.

Blind folded heart

It’s not because January is finally over. January seems to have way more days than any other month, it’s the Monday of months. Goodbye January, I won’t miss you.

I love February because I am a February baby, it’s written in the stars, poets are born in February. This when my New Year begins.

This year I decided to celebrate my month in style a little gift to my blog from me to me from my blog; feel free to reread that again from the top. You are welcome.

The FEBlog Challenge

This month I will be doing a blog every day challenge, start the year with a bang; hit the ground running; this is it, this is my year…..

I have a bunch of friends who will also be participating in the said challenge, if you ever tried a writing challenge, you will find that it is easier to do when, you know someone else out there is doing it with you…. If you feel moved to try it here are the suggested topics:

Feblog

The topics are all optional and not arranged in any order, if you could see a title that grabs your fancy, go ahead and join in… and guess what if there is ever a month that’s the easiest to complete a blog challenge that would be February; it has the least number of days… You are welcome

I do hope you will be part of this journey with me, and hopefully you learn a thing or two about me, my life and my world.

#MyAfricaMyWords FEBlog Day 1

~B

PS If you need a PDF copy of the listed topics please just get in touch.