UPDATE: In the aftermath of the televised rescue, it’s going to look to a lot of people like the phenomenon was about the miners — it’s not. The real story is about us — the millions of people around the world who we were riveted to the story and why we watched it. Read on…
As the story of the miners being rescued in Chile plays out in real-time over the media, I am reminded of “why reboot the media.” It was twenty-three years ago to the day when a story exploded in the media about a little baby girl who was rescued after falling down a well. It seemed the world burst into tears, along with the rescue workers, as Baby Jessica was pulled to safety from deep underground. Now, on a bigger scale, we have a story about the rescue of thirty-three men trapped deep underground in a mine — yet the media phenomenon is the same: everyone gathers around to experience a particular story unfold.
There are epic moments in media — the Kennedy assassination, the first man to walk on the moon — when coverage of a significant story powerfully creates a community around a shared event. What was so remarkable about the Baby Jessica story at the time (there was no 24-hour news cycle back then), however, was the smallness of the event — of all the things to happen to anyone around the world, even of all the babies that have probably fallen down a well before, for some reason this story caught on in the media in a way that moved millions of people. That got me to thinking, what else could be achieved by harnessing the power of the media?
What these stories have in common is what makes the media one of the greatest developments of our time. It is through the media that we are able to come together as one people on Earth, collectively holding our breath, watching life unfold, hoping against all hope for the best possible outcome for humanity. It is authentically moving. Unfortunately, there is also content delivered through the media that affects us in ways that are not so inspiring, don’t bring joy, and actually rile people up (or worse).
RebootTheMedia is a movement to help cause the tipping point for media that makes a difference. It can be fun; it can be inspirational; it can be the sheer joy of creative talent brilliantly expressed; it can be educational. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry, it can change the way you live your life. What I know is that media content is ubiquitous, and it begins to literally define reality for millions of people. Using the media to make a difference can elevate humanity to its fullest potential. This is the higher purpose of the media, that that’s the change I am committed to bringing about.