Historic moments ‘eclipse’ other news

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Where were you on 11 August 1999? In years to come, the same question will be asked of today, as we watched in wonderment as the moon crossed between the earth and the sun to create a solar eclipse.

At 19, I was no doubt wasting away my summer holiday after my first year at university, so I would struggle to answer the first question. The second will be etched in this blog: at an early morning meeting at Cheadle Royal Business Park!

Whether it’s a natural phenomenon, an historic occasion, or a tragic happening, our lives are often mapped out by these landmark events. Ask me where I was when Princess Diana died; ask me if I remember what I was doing on 9/11; or ask me how I marked William and Kate’s wedding – I’ll be able to answer them in an instant. As an adult, these are some of my cultural bookmarks that have been played out across all formats of the media – an historical library of significant moments in our lives.

Today, the solar eclipse is ‘eclipsing’ all over stories on the news channels and will undoubtedly adorn the front pages of tomorrow’s papers. I’m not sure I’ll rush out to buy my souvenir copy on this occasion, but the print media plays a special role in helping us to document important moments like this – particularly for those who struggle to remember what they were doing in 1999!

We’re constantly debating the rise of online media and the demise of print but, for me, they’ll forever have a place on the newsstand – if only to help cement our memories of historical events.