If you listen to the newscasts or visit online news sites, you probably know that mainstream media is collapsing, and before the smoke clears, it’ll be a much weaker and less profitable industry for a long time into the future.
Newspapers have already collapsed, and many that are left are barely holding on, even the old New York Times, which has only survived to this point because of a cash infusion from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Even so, the chances of it surviving going forward are small, and even if it does it’ll never be the paper it used to be because of people rejecting its extraordinary liberal bias, as well as the quick and easy access to news and entertainment the Internet offers.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, speaking at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival recently, said media companies cannot count on advertising revenue to go back to “pre-recession levels.”
Ballmer said, “I don’t think we are in a recession, I think we have reset. A recession implies recovery (to pre-recession levels) and for planning purposes I don’t think we will. We have reset and won’t rebound and re-grow.”
Also according to Ballmer, he thinks it’ll take about 10 years before all media is digital, although he adds it’s impossible to be exact to the time frame.
The point in all of this is the stranglehold and gatekeeper status enjoyed by mainstream media is over, and its former power and ability to control what news is offered to the general public is over. They are still attempting to be what they formerly were, but people are rejecting that, as they want more than liberal talking points as the content and entertainment they consume.
It’ll take a few years for this to work out, but the handwriting is already on the wall. It’s already happening of course, but we’re in the midst of a transition period, where the old is trying to hang on while the new media emerges. So for a time there will be a blend of all of this together until the old finally dies off or is so weakened it has become an irrelevancy.
What this does is provide a tremendous opportunity for Christianity, and the big and important question becomes, “If we’re up to the task.”
A huge problem for believers is that so many have become overcome by or embrace pop culture and its tenets. Offering up a similar version and just slapping the label “Christian” on it won’t do either. To simply offer up a watered down pop culture, news and entertainment alternative is not the way to go. We must be salt and light in this earth or we’ll be good for nothing except to be trodden under foot.
So when it comes to media, the opportunities at this time are extraordinary for Christians, but we must be extremely cautious how we enter the fray.
Look at people who enter politics and the public arena who name Christ, and they are disgraced because of their falling into sin, and do a lot of harm to Christ and His name.
We must do better than that, not only because of the sin factor, but we must keep away from the temptation to become famous and go about our jobs of offering up through the various media outlets available, who Christ is, by providing news, content and entertainment that mirrors His reality.
I’m not only talking the Gospel message here, as that’s already beaming across the world. I’m talking about interjecting the person of Christ; who He is and His ways into text, audio, video and interactive media, in a way that permeates the cultures around the world with who Christ is.
What we must do is ensure that we don’t become like the world in order to attempt to win the world. Far too many Christians are trying to go along in order to get along. That’s not the message people need to hear. If we’re not different than this world–if Jesus isn’t completely other than this world–than what is it we have to offer?
A long time ago I figured out something; you can’t out world the world. They’re better at being the world than we are, and we will never be able to top it. So we should quit trying.
The media opportunity is here, and the tools are cheap and available for anybody to use. Now we must determine what we’re going to do with them.
Are we just going to placate the world or are we going to offer a Christ as He is, with all the challenges and joys that come with Him?