Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Professor Burton: A True Tweet

In a world of grouchy college professors berating the influence of technology on today’s youth, Cathie Burton provides a refreshing alternative to truly ‘old-school’ hostilities. Professor Burton shows she is clearly in tune with and ready for the technological evolution of the media industry, even daring to compare the succinct nature of the telegraph to the 140-character-limited ‘Tweets’ of today. Just as the original producers of BBC News were hesitant to use the full potential of television (such as moving pictures and a live anchorman), many professors (in all fields) are hesitant to accept and utilize today’s technological innovations. Walking into the classroom toting a Mac laptop and equipped with a DVD documentary (no VCR necessary here!), she instantly embodies the character of a truly 21st century professional and professor. While some academics preach the idea that technology (in particular, the internet) creates a generation of introverted and socially inept youth, Cathie Burton does not seem to agree. Social Media platforms used by today’s younger generations are also being used by businesses, media outlets, and even nongovernmental organizations. Working with the media at the Council of Europe, she is aware that today’s technological developments can be a powerful tool for spreading one’s message. These developments may be changing parts of the media industry, as she speaks of how Twitter can now break the news just as fast as formal news agencies such as the Associated Press. However, her tone when discussing these changes is not one of disdain or bitterness; Cathie Burton, Mac-in-hand, is ready to go wherever the technology of tomorrow will take her. While most of the baby-boomers cling to their card-catalogs, casting disapproving glances at their Tweeting-descendents, Cathie Burton will be adeptly riding the technological wave through a successful career in the media industry.

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