The Future!

How Media Monitoring has Changed Throughout the Ages

By: Terry A. Yates, Jr | tyates@newzgroup.com

Media Monitoring isn’t as young a venture as you might think. While some historians usually settle on the late 18th century as the start of media monitoring as we know it, our crack team of historians here at Newz Group have unearthed several artifacts. These astonishing new finds opened up the notion that media monitoring is in fact millennia old!

According to our records, the first media monitoring service was established about 2 million years ago by a caveman named Thag.

Pictured: Thag beats information in to a bone to share with his fellows.

Pictured: Thag beats information in to a bone to share with his fellows.

Thag, being the curious type Cro-Magnon, wanted to know just how widespread the use of fire and the new, contemporary tool “the wheel” had become. Not quite trusting the chosen method of disseminating media information at the time, word-of-mouth, Thag set about carving what he called “hits” into animal bones to share among the roving tribes of fellow hominids.

For a time this form of media monitoring worked, but did not age well. And with the dawn of the Iron Age, a new form of media monitoring took form, this time spearheaded…or more likely two-handed broad sworded, by a barbarian named Tur Paug.

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 Artist rendering of Tur Paug the Barbarian!

Tur Paug was a mighty and ferocious barbarian who could wield a two-handed broadsword with only one hand! He became frustrated that tales of his mighty victories: slaying dragons, saving maidens and dispatching evil sorcerers, was not getting the due attention and praise it deserved!

He found that etching his tales in to the backsides of messengers or vanquished foes to send hither and yon throughout the kingdom was not only time consuming, but oftentimes fatal. The risk of infection and not enough backflesh real estate was also becoming a bit prohibitive, so Tur Paug set about using messenger falcons to spread his “information” to those that wished to employ the barbarian for whatever task they were in need of.

While the various kingdoms enjoyed having the information brought to them, they wished to have a more concrete way of getting information from their subjects, and began turning to the bards of the land to find out just what the peasants were talking about.

Louis XVI of France is said to have used media monitoring to track the latest fashion trends emerging across the globe. He used the information to quickly ‘out-pomp’ anyone which might challenge his mighty decadency. Alas, the excessive self-indulgence exuded by his court led to a drought of fine wigs and shoes as they were all snapped up by the fashion minded peasants, leaving nothing but the drabbest items for Louis himself. Fortunately better uses for media monitoring would emerge in the years to come.

Media Monitoring as a concept began to emerge in the late 1700s when George Washington, ever the mindful reader, used local newspapers to gauge the views of his fellow citizens. Other presidents would save press clippings to review their administrations, or to only surround themselves with the “good news” of the day.

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The press clipping industry, an early form of media monitoring, started in the 1850s as special agencies physically clipped out news articles and sent them to government bodies, businesses, and people.

With the advent of radio, Soviet Russia began using it as a means to “monitor” media outlets throughout eastern Europe. Employees kept track of correspondences being sent to the various stations and measured the tide of negativity to the machinations of the government.

After television became the dominant media force in the 20th century, press clipping services began monitoring radio/television broadcasts and recording them. They would then transcribe them for clients.

In the 1970s, PR Data, one of the first modern media monitoring companies, is formed as an internal group at GE. They revolutionize the press clipping business by being the first company to use computers to analyze the data and provide information offered by the media coverage.

With the explosion of a  “series of tubes and wires” which led to the rise of the Internets in the 1990s, media monitoring started distancing itself from the laborious physical aspect of literally cutting, clipping and pasting news articles and the like. Moving to digital platforms that monitored online news sources directly allowed for content to be moved digitally from press clipping service to the client. This expedited the entire process and provided much quicker feedback for the information clients craved.

In the 00s a need to monitor not only online news outlets, but social media for clients came in to focus, as media monitoring services began to offer social media coverage for their clients. Media monitoring and press clipping agencies also began to offer digital archiving services to the newspaper industry and clients, helping to preserve history for future use by everyone.
Some time in the future Newz Group will begin use of our patented “Information Halo” technology, scanning antiquated forms of media will become a breeze, and the need for humans to perform that labor will be lessened. With the advent of artificial intelligence and the inevitable rise of the machines, monitoring the media and finding the appropriate information will be faster than ever conceived of by Thag.

All joking aside, what does the future truly hold? We here at Newz Group have a few ideas, and that starts with providing the bedrock of our service no matter the era: using our clients keywords to find the information that they want, where’s it coming from, how many people are looking at it and how far that information is spreading. From the global level, all the way down to Main St. USA. Don’t get stuck in the past, join us in the future and try our services today!