COM0011 Blog #5 – Retelling History in the Digital Age

When news breaks it’s everywhere – the facts aren’t always right, but that’s a whole other blog – but within minutes the world is talking about events. School shootings, bombings, political events and even celebrity gossip are delivered to the masses by the second. With the Twitter, Facebook and the rest of social media the news world has changed. But, what happens when news from years ago is retold on social media.

Is this compelling? Is it something the masses will be interested in? Are you interested?

Recently, the BBC has started their look back at the First World War by ‘broadcasting’ the events of June 28, 1914, the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand, as they would have had the events occurred today. Linked to a micro-site the live tweets and breaking news delivered a history lesson that could resonate with younger audiences as they experienced the events in a more modern style.

Screen Capture from the BBC 1914 Live.

As the site takes readers through the day, including providing them with details about the Archduke’s hotel, they experience what it might have been like today. The BBC is not alone in using social media to share history. On June 6 the CBC piloted ‘CBC D-Day Live’ a Twitter feed which invited followers to “Imagine June 6, 1944 – D-Day – if it were covered today. Follow us to relive the day moment by moment, with a focus on Canada’s role in the historic invasion.”

Private George Kellett

Private George Kellett

The CBC’s initiative collected more than 10.2 thousand followers as it shared photos and tweets of one of the most infamous days in Canadian history. Prior to either of these movements the diaries of a soldier began appearing on Twitter in the form of excerpts from the diary of George Kellett. Kellett’s diary is a bit less famous, with slightly over one-thousand followers, but shares a Tweet or two a day matching diary entries from the front lines. For the Wakefield Council Museums this is a perfect example of using your resources to create news that would otherwise not exist.

As a history buff I love these types of posts. I think they show the versatility of social media and the ability to create content from virtually anything.

Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

3 thoughts on “COM0011 Blog #5 – Retelling History in the Digital Age

  1. Using social media as a platform to communicate history is brilliant. It adds immediacy and relevance that people might not find in books. History is often called dusty or dry (maybe because of the books…), but social media really blows the dust off. This is a great initiative to help students see that the past is truly relevant.

    • I completely agree with you! As a history buff this is like social media candy to me, I hope to see more of it soon.

  2. Your last comment “I think they show the versatility of social media and the ability to create content from virtually anything.”rings true for me. Bringing History and other subjects to the forefront by use of Social Media is genius to say the least. Creating content and educating on Social Media brings a current delivery system to the masses and youth.

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