Experiencing History Through Media

We didn't need to be at the Vatican today to be a part of history -- we were all there in spirit with those huddled masses enduring the rain at St. Peter's Square to see Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina emerge in simple white garments as Pope Francis, the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The media offered wall-to-wall coverage of the event from the moment the white plume of smoke revealed to the world that a new Pontiff had been elected. The Pontifex Twitter account, which had been suspended with the Latin phrase "Sede Vacante" (meaning that the Seat of St. Peter was vacant) since Benedict XVI resigned, was reactivated. People started flooding social media with comments as they glued to live video feeds and status updates online.

Gone are the days of waiting for news recaps at a later hour or rushing to your home television screens or radios to see and hear what's going on. Long gone are the days prior to mass media when news was transmitted via physical messenger over vast terrain and lengthy stretches of time. Important (even not so important) news is now disseminated in real time. The professional newscasters and journalists are reacting to what they see at the same time as the general public.

Even as New Media create niche outlets and fragmentize stories into ever smaller compartments, it's amazing to see the world gather together to follow major breaking news via the electronic gadgets at our fingertips as it all happens.