“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses. “ Malcolm X
In the news last week we heard how science is giving us a better picture of the activities of the monks of Glastonbury. The evidence is that they may have been more creative than factual with their efforts to encourage tourism.
Were these medieval marketeers ahead of their time or honest people who knew how to exploit what they had? Or where they simply business folks who were looking for improvement?
It would seem that they had a greater understanding of the power of perception over reality. Is it about perception being reality? With the benefit of modern science we can reasonably assume that they created the whole Glastonbury phenomena to draw more people to their site. That said it isn’t all that bad, as we would not have had that British cultural gem of Parry’s hymn Jerusalem.
Given their time in history, they were able to market their ideas unchallenged. There were no mass facilities to question their motives or facts. Even if the press/media had existed, would they have been interested?
Is that why the recent successes of boxer Tyson Fury seemed to have little press coverage before the event? Was the general opinion of his chances of beating Wladimir Klitschko so remote that it only got limited coverage in the pre event sports media?
The media however was very thorough when it came to the Davis Cup coverage. I thought it remarkable that, in the post victory press conference, (with the whole GB Team present), how much of the media attention was directed only at Andy Murray. Given his important contribution to the victory, and world ranking, it was easy to see why. Despite him reminding the assembled press pack that this was a team effort and victory, they persisted in wanting to talk only to him.
In a much less significant (from a media perspective) I umpired a local league grass roots hockey match over the weekend. The visiting team were young, physically fit, clearly established, well drilled and were 4 – 0 in the lead after 20 minutes.
The visiting team coach had a simple approach – keep a clean sheet (don’t conceded goals) – and play in the opposition’s half. Apart from that advice he left the team to its own devices.
The home team ranged in age for 16 – 60. Despite this being a development side, they rotated their players to ensure the younger members also played. Despite the half time score being 6 – 0, they held their heads high, adapted their game, playing with dignity and determination. Having adapted to suit the conditions, they only conceded one goal in the second half. They may have lost the game but in the long term have taught tomorrow’s generation of hockey players some important values.
By way of a summary, the monks and the sportsmen were so mindful of their situation that they were able to adapt and make the most of what they faced.
Despite the lack of sophisticated means of communications we enjoy, the medieval monks created success with story telling and making the most of their assets.
Despite the perceived supremacy of Kitschko, Fury exceeded expectations dethroning the former champion.
Despite the attention of the media Andy Murray ensured that his fellow players and the wider support team were recognized.
In the grass roots game of hockey, the team remained dignified in defeat and supportive of the younger generation whilst adjusting their game. They also demonstrated some of the important lessons in life and sport.
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Innovation isn’t Rocket Science
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