By Randy Wright
We journalists live in a new age of storytelling, with many new multimedia tools. Many people under 30 don't even realize it's new. For them, it's just normal.
This hit home for me as I was sitting with my 2-year-old grandson on a sofa in the United States over the Spring Festival holiday. I had brought a children's book to read, a classic story about a beggar making soup from a stone. It had simple words and colorful illustrations - a perfect match for his age.
Picture this: my grandson sitting on my lap, leaning back against me as I hold the book in front so he can see the pictures. As I read, he reaches out and pokes the page sharply with his finger.
What's up with that? He just likes the pictures, I thought. Maybe he'll be an artist when he grows up.
Then I turned the page and continued. And he poked the page more vigorously. Every time he poked, I nearly dropped the book.
Weird, I thought: Is there something wrong with this kid? Kids are supposed to like stories, but it's hard to read with all this page-poking.
And then I realized what was happening.
He was actually a stranger to books. His father (my son-in-law) frequently shared an iPad to amuse the boy with interactive media, and the little fellow was surprisingly adept. The device was loaded with games, internet links and colorful pictures that come alive when you poke them.
He thought my storybook was like that. He expected the pictures to move or talk.
Sorry, kid. This book is not part of your high-tech world. It's an old-fashioned artifact, a dull, lifeless thing. Words. Drawings. Silent. Still. Boring. An antique. Like your grandfather.
Well, I may be old, but I'm not hopelessly challenged, digitally speaking. I've adapted to the new ways. I edit video, produce audio, tweet and text. I use WeChat wallet. I've built websites. I even own a smartphone app.
Yes, and I have a driver's license! Take that, you … you 2-year-old! You may own the future, but you'll have to wait for it.
There's one notable gap in my new-media experience: I've spent little time in front of a camera - which isn't a bad thing, since I have a face made for radio. But that didn't stop China Daily from asking me last week to share a personal story for a video project about the integration of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province. I have some insights, as I've made the grueling five-hour journey from Beijing to southern Tianjin to see my wife at least 100 times. (Note: I fell in love before I realized how far away she lived, and then it was too late.)
Anyway, grandpa is now an internet star - two minutes of fame! I promise not to let it go to my head. But I will make sure my 2-year-old grandson sees it on his iPad.
Randy Wright joined China Daily as an editor in 2013. His career spans 36 years and 10 newspapers in the United States in senior management, editorial writing and reporting roles. He served as adjunct faculty at the University of Arizona and has consulted for many publications, including the California Bar Journal for lawyers and judges. He is a licensed pilot in the US.
上一篇 : The English way of understatement