UNO September 2018


One of the great challenges of communications today is, undeniably, brevity. To achieve it, one must be extremely precise, which requires a great deal of clarity. Nowadays, in the world of immediate obsolescence and disruptive circumstances, clarity—by definition—does not exist.

This difficulty raises an even greater challenge, consisting of the need to recover our awareness of the importance of fundamental principles and values as essential prerequisites when considering any human activity.

When it comes to principles, values and essential prerequisites, brevity and simplicity emerge from conceptual synthesis skills that can only be acquired through reflection, study, experience and wisdom.

In the gleaming environments of innovation, so widespread and fashionable, it has been assumed convenient to start from scratch, reinvent oneself and think differently. A dangerous simplicity, especially for young people, which has been misinterpreted as an insane invitation to improvise and be flippant.

In the gleaming environments of innovation, it has been assumed convenient to start from scratch, to reinvent oneself and think differently

The world where information technologies act as an unlimited repository of fonts and files, has brought about a shift in the skills of comprehension, knowledge and analysis, giving way to those of data management as a methodological tool. That dynamic has become a patent for ignorance and intellectual frivolity, because, since knowledge stored can be accessed anywhere at any time, it no longer seems important to take it in.

The massiveness and immediacy of new technologies, coupled with the overwhelming dynamic of languages, users and contents that stretch beyond conscious comprehension, learning and retention snatch at us from the past, lose us in the present and shoot us into an uncertain future, one with uneasiness, confusion, anxiety and dispersion.

This is where media and communicators—those who have taken up the fight for freedom of opinion, analysis and reporting; the right to question; freedom of the press; journalism; and communication involving information, education, guidance, pedagogy, influence and representation—are called to unite behind a deep and constant warning of the inconvenience of social and cultural massification through hyper-connection and addiction to technology, per se.

For millennia, the transmission of knowledge was reserved for great minds, able to assume the responsibility and challenge of doing so while contributing to its evolution. The oral tradition gave rise to imperishable languages, the production of physical registers gave rise to writing, and the construction of structures and preservation of libraries and spaces where knowledge could be immortalized gave rise to cultures.

We cannot now resign ourselves to allowing all this to become immaterial, reduced to a function on a smart device with which anyone, by clicking on a button, can believe they have and can use the knowledge of mankind. Many people consult sources that are largely discredited, irrelevant or inconclusive, often forming part of a chain marketing the interests of those who always capitalize on the naivety, superficiality and ignorance of others.

This strategy of constantly and massively connecting people with the largest amount of useless information possible, overloading their cognitive abilities, memories and reflections with purely commercial, banal interests, must be questioned by all those involved—that is, all of society.

In the middle of this machinery that keeps us hyper-dispersed—although it is true that we have never had a better world, so advanced, full of information, knowledge and participation—the future of mankind clamors for leaders, seeking media and communicators who are able to draw the attention of society and demand, every so often, that people pause to think, set a healthy pace for their reality and point it in the right direction.

Media cannot succumb to the dynamics of immediacy, massiveness and financial hardship of the changing landscape. Their mission must take priority

Media cannot succumb to the dynamics of immediacy, massiveness and financial hardship of the changing landscape. Their mission must take priority. Social leaders cannot allow themselves to be underrated. Those guides, news providers and opinion leaders must be the first to rescue the principles, values and essential prerequisites of the human race’s reason for existence.

And to rehumanize this vital dynamic, a large dose of disconnection, balance and weighing will be required to support well-understood innovation processes and check the dispersion currently preventing us from seeing clearly.

Werner Zitzmann
Executive manager of the Colombian Information Media Association
Zitzmann is a consultant and executive with a lengthy track record in the media industry. He was vice-chairman and secretary of Casa Editorial El Tiempo de Colombia for 11 years; an independent consultant for family businesses and enterprises, particularly in the digital arena; and member of the Managing Boards of several organizations, including Asomedios and Old Mutual. Since May 2017, he has been heading the transformation of the Colombian Information Media Association (AMI) which brings together the most important national news media in the country. [Colombia]

We want to collaborate with you

Do you have a challenge?

Would you like to join our team?

Do you want us to speak at your next event?