There’s been so much hand-wringing among journalists about the encroachment of social media, new media, etc., and what it means for our future. And trust me, I’ve done my fair share. I am an old-school print girl at heart. But once again, Roger Ebert shames us, explaining that he’s not discouraged by Wednesday’s cancellation of At the Movies. In fact, he’s eager to explore the new platforms available on the TV show he and wife Chaz are developing:
I can’t prove it, but I have the feeling that more different people are seeing more different movies than ever before. With the explosion of DVD, Netflix, Red Box, and many forms of Video on Demand, virtually all movies are easily available to virtually all North American moviegoers. This has created a huge potential audience. …. We also know we will have a strong web presence. We will go full-tilt New Media: Television, net streaming, cell phone apps, Facebook, Twitter, iPad, the whole enchilada. The disintegration of the old model creates an opening for us. I’m more excited than I would be if we were trying to do the same old same old.
Ebert’s relentless optimism is especially welcome in a month when we’ve heard that film critics aren’t necessary and neither are music reviewers. His confidence — and continued success — inspires me to have faith in the resilience of good writing and critical thinking.