The internet and cell phones may have ensured that information can be gathered virtually instantaneously, but they have not triggered the complete demise of other forms of information. Facing off against the internet, a more classic form of media is working to maintain its relevance.
I’m not talking about radio or newspapers. I refer, instead, to the town crier.
Walking around, ringing a bell and shouting may seem like a somewhat inefficient method of propagating the news. It is. But it’s also a position which has been retained in places throughout the world, whether due to tradition or the efforts to recreate historical settings. And when people perform tasks, people compete.
Every alternating year an International Town Crier’s Competition is held; the location shifts to different cities and countries, and the contestants are judged on a variety of criteria. Expect them to be wearing a hat, usually a tricorner; ringing a bell; and announcing for everyone to pay attention with a clearly voiced “Oyez!” (Not “Hear Ye”, that’s something concocted by Hollywood.)
For an example of what a champion sounds like, here’s a clip of the 2017 winner:
The latest event was hosted in Holland, Michigan in May of this year. They streamed it live, and posted the stream onto Youtube. It currently has less than 400 views.
Some people just don’t appreciate culture.
Question of the night: How are you at public speaking?