Ever had a quote that has an impact that doesn’t sink for a long time after you hear it?
Well, there was one not so long ago that had that effect on me. It was part of a voxpop on BBC Radio 4 about the modern-day relevance of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The BBC was interviewing people on the streets of Manchester about what they thought of the head of the Church of England.
One guy said (and this is a paraphrase): “He’s ok and that, but he says he speaks for people, which is wrong. Nowadays everyone speaks for themselves so he is a bit out-of-date.”
I laughed at first, thinking that it was a nice myth to assume that there was equality of voice. Then I realised that actually, that wasn’t the point.
The point is that people no longer identify with large, organised bodies. Whther it be the corporation, the Church of England or even, perhaps, the media group, there is an implicit assumption that they do not represent the individual.
If that is true, then it backs up the idea that the future of media is the personal, the building of networks and relationships between individuals so that everyone can speak for themselves, even if some end up speaking louder than others.