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  • Thursday, July 28, 2005


    Open Source Radio Revisited

    When we previously left the story, it didn't look like I was actually going to be on the Open Source radio show. What is interesting is that the producers decided to completely scrap the whole "blogger" perspective on the unreleased Abu Ghraib photos and go with more conventional guests and sources (i.e., professors and book authors.) Their show, their prerogative.

    I was secretly relieved at not having to speak on the show. I am somewhat pissed that they got the Progressive Blogger Union (PBU) to go through the trouble of contacting members, put PBU volunteers in touch with the show's producers who later discarded this info and work without notification. At the very least, that's rude.

    However I also understand the difficulties of planning out this sort of radio show. Part entertainment, part news, they have to be informative as well as having guests who are knowledgeable about the subject. I know that when I talked on the phone to one of the women from the show, I was frank that my knowledge about the photos and videos in legal contention was generally limited to what was publicly available. I even sort of put on my radio voice for her. (Ah, you didn't know I had a radio voice did you? I did some news and I had a music show on public radio back in college. For me, this mostly consists of eliminating "um"s and other verbal tics, and speaking clearly and directly without hesitations. This is a Public Radio voice, not a Top 40 radio voice.)

    I didn't hear the word "blogger" once during the show but I also didn't hear about a quarter of the show. I'm on dialup at 36.6 bps and the audio stream was interrupted a number of times, almost surely from my end. Since the show isn't carried by any of our local stations, this was my only option. I even had trouble leaving an online comment. I decided against calling in because I was unable to consistently follow the conversation. My connection isn't usually this flaky.

    I also expected a more participatory web site for the show, perhaps some reading of comments being made in the blog on the show. Or maybe a web person moderating a simultaneous web forum on the current subject. I was rather disappointed at the lack of such options. I have no idea about their resources which, to be fair, are probably not very extensive. Still, since the show seems to stress its internet component, it should have a bit more real time interaction on the web.

    I know the planning of these shows is logistically difficult. How a show falls together can depend as much on circumstance and availability of guests as the originally planned concept. Yet the cynic in me has seen this kind of maneuver before. I've done a little PR work for Neopagan and AIDS demos in the past. The press is a fickle beast, even when they are in sympathy with your cause. And sometimes breaking news can completely derail a carefully planned article or TV segment.

    So I'm more annoyed than angry with the show's producers and research assistants. I'm philosophical about it. At least it didn't rise to the level of an AFGE - Another Fucking Growth Experience. I reserve that phrase for big disasters: missed plane connections, tire blowouts on the highway, emergency room visits, etc. This was not in that league.

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