Saturday, April 29, 2006

Moving Positively Backward

I recently listened to one of my favorite podcasts, NPR's On the Media. Friday's show was a special report on "How a devastated New Orleans became a testing ground for new kinds of media."

The 50 minute podcast dealt with different media that has grown since Hurricane Katrina and, largely, because of Hurricane Katrina. This included Pulitzer Prize-winning Sports Journalists and a failed local anchor who has been called "The Voice of New Orleans" due to the success of his internet streaming talk show. The show touches on many more interesting points, and I would suggest a listen.

It got me thinking about success. The American Dream usually includes fame, fortune, and (sometimes) happiness. How has this changed through new media like podcasting and blogging? Can new technology actually create fame where it is deserved?

I think so. If anyone with the appropriate technology and a tiny bit of knowledge can get their thoughts out on to the web, then anyone can hear those thoughts. No blogger is judged on their size or race, they are judged purely on their ideas and writing skills. Podcasters are judged on their ideas and their ability to speak with clarity. No one knows what the podcaster/blogger looks like unless he or she puts their picture up.

Is it possible that we have the opportunity to move back to the days of radio? Where a news anchor did not have to have a perfect nose or straight teeth? Would Garrison Keillor be so popular if we had to look at him every day?In this age of silicon, where people are frequently judged by their looks, size, and sex, it's comforting to know that a new, successful form of media is putting thoughts and ideas where they belong. Before you know what I look like, before you know if I'm black or white, female or male, I have the ability to tell you what I think. That's pretty valuable.


pseudonym said...

We will have to look at GK if we wish to see the movie, which I will. A little ugly adds character. That's what I tell myself in any case.

Amanda said...

I agree with your attitude towards ugliness. I was speaking of the general American public. Unfortunately, appealing to them is where the money is.

Welcome to my blog, by the way. Hope you stick around.