COLUMN

Media then and now

COLUMN

Media then and now

It is equally interesting to look at what has as what has not changed in the media over the past fifty years during which I was actively involved in both the print and the audiovisual press. I recently leafed through a folder containing the major stories I wrote for the Dutch daily newspaper De Tijd back in the 1960s. They were stories about civil wars or famines which, after all these years, could be printed in the newspaper again without changing a thing. Although we had never heard of spin doctors, a minister was addressed with “your excellency” and it was inconceivable that an interviewee would be permitted to read a story in advance, we still find major reports and interviews in our newspapers and we devote a great deal of attention to sports. Journalists still try to reveal things that flee the daylight.

The biggest change is not in the content but in the way the content now comes to the editorial staff and the reader. The good reporter was the one who in the pre-satellite age was able to get the story – on time – from the place of the catastrophe to the editorial staff. A working phone booth anywhere in the world was the life line to the newspaper, and you prayed that your call wasn´t answered by a trainee who would hang up on you before you finished plugging in the large handful of coins that were necessary for establishing a connection. Now everything passes via fast mobile connections, as a result of which the news can also be channelled instantly by the newspaper publishers to the consumer, sometimes with moving images. Things have improved enormously for the recipient of the news and the backgrounds to the news. The digital newspaper is now available at all times, news is immediately disseminated, and the paper and digital newspapers are becoming ever more valuable as interpreters of the news that are no longer tied to a deadline.   

Fons van Westerloo (72) has been a member of the board of supervisory directors of De Persgroep Netherlands since 2013. In 2011 Van Westerloo was named an Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau, in recognition of the “mark he made on the Dutch media landscape”.
© 2017 - 2018 De Persgroep
Made with passion @Comfi
© 2017 - 2018 De Persgroep
Made with passion @Comfi