With the death of American poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron last week, one of the great heroes of our time has moved on. I was tremendously moved by the very personal obituary written by his publisher Jamie Byng.
As I watch Scott-Heron’s famous work, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, I am struck by how much the times have changed since he released that fiery criticism of the media on his debut album, A New Black Poet – Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, in 1970. At that time, TV and the media were perceived as mind-numbing and controlling forces. Fast forward 40 years, and we have citizen TV, Internet videos, Facebook pages and Twitter updates, plus websites like AlJazeera, which provides a platform for citizen videos, and Global Voices, a community website that reports on blogs and citizen media around the world. The inherent freedom of citizen media is powerful; it is literally pulling down tyrannies across the Middle East and will probably continue to do so around the world.
If I may suggest a small update edit, “Not” should probably be “Now.”