Dawna Friesen: 2017 will go down as a year ‘dominated by disruption’
This has been a wild news year. And it felt to me like it was dominated by disruption.
The disruptor-in-chief is the man in the White House, of course.
A fiery, belligerent outsider, his first year in office has been a destabilizing one.
He’s disrupted his party, he’s disrupting trade and foreign policy.
He’s made the U.S. a more polarized, more tribal place. And he’s become a role model for those who disrespect women — which brings me to the other disruptors this year, women.
Women who will no longer be silenced. Time magazine chose them as the “Persons of the Year” for 2017.
They are a powerful force that’s disrupting the power equation.
Because so many women have had the guts to come forward to tell their stories of harassment and assault, there must be men in positions of power all over the place quaking, wondering if they’ll be the next to be exposed, the next to be forced to fall from grace.
It’s been a deeply unsettling year to be a journalist. What we do and how we do it is under attack, dismissed as “fake news.” We’re watching Facebook and Google get even richer off the back of content produced by news organizations whose own ad revenues are dwindling.
The news media business model is broken, and no one’s figured out how to fix it.
What’s certain for 2018 is that there will be more uncertainty. It’s human nature, I suppose — or perhaps we’re just conditioned to believe that things will return to normal, that equilibrium will be restored, and diplomacy and sanity will prevail on the world stage.
It’s comforting to believe that, but it might not be practical or realistic.
The challenge we all have is to adapt, be resilient, and find a way to thrive in the midst of change. It means being open to new ideas, breaking out of our echo chambers and feedback loops of information, listening to new voices, being fearless and challenging our assumptions.
2018 is going to be okay. New ideas and new inventions and new solutions will emerge, and will surprise us. They always do.
So as the New Year approaches, we should prepare for the fact that in the complex world we find ourselves, disruption is the new normal.
Happy New Year. And see you again in 2018.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.