I was once a paperboy. Each late afternoon I made my route through my neighborhood delivering at least one – sometimes two – of the three to four papers that came out of Boston. For most, this was their evening edition. Other kids delivered the morning paper. Newspapers were big business because that’s how most people knew what was going on the world.
Then TV became popular and the network news programs grew from a few minutes to all day. You didn’t have to wait for a kid like me to toss a paper onto your stoop.
Today, a whole generation bypasses the networks and cables and relies on social media. Soon we’ll see the demise of not only of papers but cable and TV news as we know them. If you disagree, pay close attention to what Donald Trump has done. He gets almost 24/7 exposure and doesn’t spend a dime. Everyday he’s on your radar.
Trump knows that most voters pull the lever on election day without knowing the details of a candidate’s positions. What they know is a name. And if it’s a name they’ve heard all the time, there’s a certain comfort and even intimacy. Add to that the irritability of most Americans with the “system,” and Mr. Trump has raised his chances capturing votes by being not only familiar, but familiar as one who’s not afraid to bring irritability to a boil by “dissing” those whom people blame for their troubles. Trump will never become “presidential” as the old guard defines it because it’s not the stuff of the new way of communication.
Whatever you think of Mr. Trump’s views on foreign affairs, immigration, or the economy, you have to give him credit for putting elections – as we’ve known them – in the same boat as newspapers.
He knows communication.
While most parishioners still like to read a parish bulletin, social media will soon replace that little news bulletin. We at Saint Andrew hope that our branching out into this new web page, Facebook, and a parish app will help us not simply get our name out there, but be able to associate our name with “good news” that’ll do people some good. And carry us through from the age of the bulletin to what comes after social media.