An age of information overload


By Leon A Smith
June 15, 2012
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One often hears it is suggested that we are living in an age of information overload – newspapers, magazines, radio, television, dare I say blogs, the internet, digital TV, digital radio, etc. Information is relayed instantaneously to our phones, to our laptops, to our iPads and to our living rooms. There is of course so much information it is not possible to read, listen or watch it all. And one therefore to a certain degree has to be discerning in selecting which information is worthy of our attention. Personally I feel duty bound to read everything that comes my way. If I am unable on a Sunday to read the entire content of the Sunday newspaper, I feel guilty that I’ve missed out on something and I know that there’ll be no time to read it during the coming days. I therefore am obliged to read the main paper and the sports section, money, business, homes etc etc etc. Magazine reading is even more of a challenge as this is a leisure activity to be fitted within a busy schedule. Little time is available for this.

My preferred media is radio. If you think, no real effort is required to listen to the radio and of course one can listen to the radio and do other things at the same time, making it an extremely efficient form of media to benefit from. Digital radio has brought us a plethora of radio stations – indeed the number of radio stations appears to be increasing with more and more local radio and more and more radio covering specialist subjects. All the more incredible therefore that in a city the size of London with a Jewish population the size it is that we do not have a specifically Jewish radio station. I have referred to this before. Cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Paris do have round-the-clock Jewish radio stations. Yet we don’t. Albeit we have a Jewish population of some 200,000 people with many being concentrated in very specific areas.

It is hard to imagine there would not be sufficient interest amongst the community to support such a 6facility. Various schemes have arisen in the past to create a permanent Jewish radio station but none have become established. We have just have the occasional “specialist hour” on some temporary station or the other in either London or Manchester. The same could be applied to television stations. Equally one would sense that there would be a demand. I am sure there are a million reasons why this is far more complicated than it sounds. I know nothing about establishing radio or TV stations. I do however understand that there will be issues regarding licences, heavy investment would be needed and there would be concerns regarding likely advertising revenues. Nevertheless I still find it surprising that these problems have not been overcome. I would be really interested to hear from any of my readers who may know anything about this subject and/or any of the problems which may be precluding this from becoming a reality.

Finally, if I may be a little inward looking. I would like to say a big “thank you” to everybody concerned here at Nightingale House and at Hammerson House for all the work which they did to make the recent Jubilee period such a happy and enjoyable one for all of our residents.

We now look forward to celebrating the Olympic Games and the Paralympics and I know that a number of our residents will be looking forward to attending the Games. I had hoped that the Israeli Olympic Team may be able to find time to visit one of our homes to meet with our residents but I am told that no such social visits will be taking place – full attention and concentration will be on participating and I hope winning medals in both Games!!

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