An Open Letter From Will Folks
In 1953, when television was still in its infancy, legendary journalists such as Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly emerged as the conscience of a new, dynamic and uncharted medium. Courageously taking on entrenched politicians, institutions and corporate sponsors, they sought not only to hold the instruments of power accountable to the truth, but to elevate the level of debate among the American public.
Of television, Murrow once famously said “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire, but it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box.”
Fifty years later, another contraption of wires and lights is emerging, one that isn’t confined to our living rooms or bound to our workspaces, one that we can hold in the palm of our hand. This "contraption" holds the potential to wield even greater power and influence – and it holds the certainty of inviting larger, much more complex challenges.
Simply stated, the proliferation of new political media on the Internet holds the key to limitless change and dramatically enhanced accountability, and as such it will require the same mixture of courage and responsibility Murrow and his colleagues demonstrated fifty years ago. Only then will it be a force for truth and for the advancement – not for the spin and appeasement – of humankind.
All of you who participate in reading, commenting or discussing the events transpiring even as we speak in the political blogosphere are well ahead of the curve. You are informed, you follow issues, you actively participate in the political process and you care passionately about the ideas, ideals, candidates and campaigns that you support.
You are, in essence, the front line of perception in an ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of the rest of us who inhabit this curious little upside down triangle known as the State of South Carolina.
Over the next few months, FaithInTheSound will be changing dramatically. We will be launching a new, enhanced and interactive website, which you will be able to find online at www.fitsnews.com, as well as offering a wide range of advertising options and free and paid subscription-based services that you’ll be reading more about in the weeks to come.
In doing so, our goals will remain simple – first, to keep you informed, second, to make you think and finally, to make you laugh.
We will continue to be irreverent, continue to be controversial, continue to be humorous and at times inappropriate, and yes, in some circles, continue to be alternately dismissed and hated.
But we will continue nonetheless.
A few days ago, a reporter friend of mine called and asked about a piece of information she had stumbled upon while reading this blog.
“I didn’t think you reporters looked at the blogs,” I told her.
“I’ve been told I have to now,” was her reply.
And that's precisely the point. Political blogs are for real, and their impact is only going to grow in the months and years ahead both here in the Palmetto State and beyond.
We look forward to providing you with more details on the soon-to-be-released FITSNews, but in the meantime I thank you personally for your continued patronage to this small corner of the web. Visit early, visit often and by all means, please continue to say whatever floats your boat or vents your spleen about me or anybody else that graces or disgraces the small stage that is our state’s unique and constantly-evolving political soap opera.
All of it may indeed have been said before, but not quite like this.
William R. Folks III