NPR's On the Media
Broadcast: January 1,
Hopes for a new century.
can be made that the media, in general, became the most powerful
institution of the past century�and that journalism, in
particular, established itself as the form of communication best
able to capture the struggles of that century.
twelve, rather different hopes for media and journalism in the
that technology will not make communicating seem so easy that
we are unprepared for the inevitable and repeated realization
that really communicating is hard.
that media and journalism won�t continue to grow so large, so
powerful and so pervasive that we continue to lose our
abilities to entertain and inform ourselves.
hope for the new century, that if newspapers do finally succumb
to the competition with newer technologies, whatever replaces
them will be damn good. And that whatever may replace
newspapers will be portable enough to peruse with breakfast, in
that we and our children and grandchildren will have the luxury
of living in less and less newsworthy times. That, in other
words, journalism may not be the form that best captures the
that, even should we be so fortunate, humankind will retain
sufficient interest in civic affairs to prevent news from being
totally overwhelmed by entertainment.
sixth, that the exploration of kinds of news that go beyond
civic affairs will continue to broaden and deepen.
seventh, that, even if times are good for many, journalists
will not lose the critical spirit that might help make them
better for more.
hope for the new century, that digital and video communication
will begin to achieve the revolutions not only in art but in
thought that writing and printing -- after similarly
inauspicious starts -- achieved.
that humankind will discover � in art, in thought � new methods
of mixing its mushrooming doubt with invigorating, if
that knowledge will not only be distributed but organized and
accessed with such efficiency that humankind�s attachment to
myths and superstitions will further weaken.
eleventh, that the flood of facts won�t wash away the seeds of
twelfth, that no amount of information will lessen our awe and
astonishment at the wonder of our existence.