Early in my career, a phrase–a mission, really–popped into my head and I’ve never forgotten it: “Use the media to make a difference.” It was November 1987, and suddenly a big story exploded through 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 safely from that well. Wow, I thought, if the media can gather everyone around to experience this particular experience, what else could be achieved by harnessing the power of the media?
Yes, there are those epic big moments in media — the Kennedy assassination, the first man to walk on the moon — those too are examples of powerfully creating a community around a shared, single event. But what was so remarkable about Baby Jessica 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, this one was captured and retold through the media in a way that moved millions of people.
Who hasn’t been touched, moved, or inspired by a good movie, a book, a tv show or character, or a news story? What I attempt to do with RebootTheMedia is bring forth the powerful experiences delivered through mass media to celebrate media that makes a difference. Examples abound: What was it about Susan Boyle that got millions of views on YouTube? Why do people like The Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover Home Edition? Are you starting to get what I mean?
RebootTheMedia is a movement to cause the media to make a difference. I will point to things I like and ask you what you think. What are your favorite shows, books, TV or movies that made a difference in your life? Did you hear a story lately on the news that inspired you to make a difference? Media is capable of raising the level of humanity in the world by the creative full self-expression of the human experience. This is the higher purpose of the media, that that’s the change I am committed to bringing about.
Join me. It’s time to RebootTheMedia.