Sarah Foss

November, 2015


Merci to the Media

I was sitting in the hotel room in London when I decided to flip on the telly Friday night. It had been a long week – multiple flights and too many meetings – and I figured watching some British entertainment would allow me to relax.

18 Dead in Paris Shooting…100 Hostages…Bombing at International Football Match…

I lived in Paris from 2004-2006. I pictured the cafes, the busy Friday night family outings. I could hear the jazz and assorted languages stream from the venues. For as much as Paris is quintessentially the capital of France, it is also one of those places that truly belongs to the world. It is the City of Love.

But, the headlines kept coming. Like the rest of the world, I was horrified. Shocked. Riveted to the unfolding events. I flipped from BBC News to BBC 2 to Channel 5 to SkyNews. I found other international channels and checked my US-news apps. I got online, checked Twitter, and watched YouTube to hear the bomb’s blast.

Like citizens all over the world, I felt sick to my stomach, concerned for the Parisiennes, and worried for what this really meant for our world. It is a small world after all.

It is small now because of how much we know, we see, we experience through media. Friday night was the perfect example of that. It is also why so many of us work tirelessly at networks, stations, production studios, and all of the companies that support them. While I would never say that we, like the first responders, medical staff, and good citizens who opened their homes to those stranded saved lives, the media informed global citizens.
Behind the scenes, there were thousands of phone calls made to journalists and camera crew, satellite and fiber NOCs, and studio personnel around the globe that were mobilized to ensure we all knew what had happened—and how we could help. I saw tired journalists roused back after a long day to report on a story—albeit terrifying and confusing—we needed to hear. It was important; they knew that the media had a global responsibility to share it.

After awaking Saturday morning, the telly was back on for the updates. The information was more barbaric, the stories clearer. I mourned for those lost and said a prayer for those that were still in the grips of fear and confusion in Paris. I could because of the tireless efforts of media professionals and companies throughout the night.

The media cannot change the horrific events. They cannot keep Paris—and every global city—safe. But, they can ensure that we are the global citizens we need to be, helping Paris through this horrible tragedy.

And, they can ensure that we will never forget.

Merci to my colleagues around the globe. You are what makes the world—especially today—a better and more informed place.

This blog post was writtten by Sarah Foss, 2015 Board Chair-Elect, Vice President, Product Management, Media at Imagine Communications.